LU News Archive

Applications available for 2012 David J. Beck Fellowships

As Lamar University’s David J. Beck Fellow for 2011, Elisabeth Maxwell of Beaumont is spending the summer in Hermanus, South Africa as an intern with the South African Shark Conservancy. Maxwell, 20, a sophomore biology major, plans a career as a marine biologist and sees the internship as an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the field of marine conservation and management. She is blogging about her internship at

Maxwell was able to participate in the internship because of funding provided by the David J. Beck Fellowship, Lamar University’s most prestigious undergraduate award.

The Beck Fellowship provides a full academic scholarship to LU covering all tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board for one calendar year. Additionally, Beck Fellows receive up to $10,000 each for summer projects, which may include research, travel, an internship or some other pursuit to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

Lamar University is now accepting applications for 2012 Beck Fellowships. Completed application packets, including proposals for summer projects, must be submitted no later than Oct. 1, 2011. For the first time this year, the university will select two recipients of the Beck Fellowship.

Previous David J. Beck Fellows were biology major Michael Zarzosa, who completed an independent research project in Belize in summer 2010, and nursing major Jennifer Mikel, who worked as a nursing intern in Ghana in summer 2009.

The David J. Beck Fellowships were made possible by a $1 million gift to LU’s Investing in the Future campaign from distinguished alumnus David J. Beck. A former regent of the Lamar University System, Beck is a founding partner in a premier Houston law firm, Beck Redden & Secrest. A Port Arthur native, he credits Lamar University with giving him the opportunity to attend college and gain a foundation for future success.

Maxwell said the fellowship “puts the right amount of pressure on you. You have certain things you have to accomplish and you have all the resources provided by the university, but you have to do it. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s not too much. It’s just the right amount that it challenges you to grow, but it doesn’t force you to go crazy.”

Applicants for the David J. Beck Fellowship must be full-time Lamar University undergraduates in any major with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Because the fellowship runs for one calendar year, applicants should be planning to graduate no earlier than December 2012. Fellows are selected based on the strength of their complete application packet, including proposed summer project, academic record and financial need. Finalists will be interviewed in October.

Application packets are available in the offices of the senior associate provost (Plummer 104), Honors Program (Honors Building) or each college dean. For more information, visit or call (409) 880-8400.

For more information on becoming a Lamar University student, visit or call (409) 880-8316.