West Virginia University graduate students Eric Duchess, Todd Stueckle, Andrea Sutyak and Amanda Visek have been awarded the WVU Foundations 2006 Distinguished Doctoral Fellowships.

The fellowships in humanities, natural sciences, physical sciences and technology, and social sciences each award $5,000 to exemplary graduate students to support the completion of their degrees.

Duchess, Stueckle and Sutyak are all students in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; Visek is a student in WVU s School of Physical Education. Duchess, a WVU history graduate student from Washington, Pa., received the fellowship in humanities.

Eric is one of the most polished graduate instructors I have had the pleasure to mentor during my time at WVU ,said Robert Blobaum, chair of WVU s Department of History.From the beginning he has assumed a leadership role among graduate students, especially in the orientation of incoming graduate teaching assistants. The dissertation fellowship will accelerate Erics research program and, consequently, his overall professional development.

Stueckle, a WVU biology graduate student from Spokane, Wash., has been awarded the fellowship in natural sciences.

Todd is one of the premier graduate students in biology,said Jonathan Cumming, chair of WVU s Department of Biology.

He has been working in Dr. Christy Forans lab for several years on the effects of human-induced environmental changes on fiddler crabs in the Chesapeake Bay,Cumming added.Todds work integrates WVU into the wide-ranging scientific efforts to understand the effects of pollution in the bay and works toward solutions to these problems. The WVU Foundation Fellowship is a great reward for Todds work and will allow him to focus on the final stages of his research.

Sutyak, a graduate teaching assistant from Terra Alta, received the fellowship in physical sciences and technology. She conducts her work through WVU s Department of Mathematics.

Andrea has demonstrated a commitment to teaching with a special contribution to the state as shown by her first appointment in the TIGERS program in which she worked with a rural middle school mathematics class,said Michael Mays, director for the Institute for Math Learning.

She has a paper submitted for publication that develops her ideas, and this semester she is working to put her observations in the form of generating functions,Mays added.The fellowship will be especially valuable to her at this time, not only for the obvious financial help, but also for the encouragement it would give as she transitions to the professoriate.

Visek, a WVU sport and exercise psychology graduate student, received the fellowship in the social sciences.

These postgraduate students are the future generations of researchers and

teachers who will help shape what West Virginia and the nation become,said F. Duke Perry, WVU Foundation president and CEO .The fellowships also will help to fulfill the WVU Foundations mission to enhance the overall well-being of West Virginia University.

For more information, e-mail Jonathan Cumming at jcumming@wvu.edu ; Robert Blobaum at Robert.Blobaum@mail.wvu.edu ; or Michael Mays at Michael.Mays@mail.wvu.edu .