LU News Archive

Finalists chosen for 2013 David J. Beck Fellowships

Six Lamar University students have been selected as finalists for the 2013 David J. Beck Fellowships, the university’s most prestigious undergraduate award.

A ceremony recognizing two of these students as David J. Beck Fellows is planned for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the University Reception Center on the eighth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. The event also will include recognition of the remaining four finalists and presentations by LU’s 2012 Beck Fellows, Chelsea Barnard of Port Neches and Elisabeth Maxwell of Beaumont.

The Beck Fellowship covers all expenses – including tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board – for one year and includes up to $10,000 to pursue a summer project proposed as part of the application packet. First awarded in 2009, the fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from LU distinguished alumnus and prominent attorney David J. Beck, founding partner of Beck, Redden & Secrest, LLP in Houston.

Finalists for the 2013 Beck Fellowship, with a description of the proposed summer projects, follow.

Md. Hasan, a chemical engineering major from Faridpur, Bangladesh, proposed performing research on composite membranes at Harbin Institute of Technology in China.

Joseph Jones, an accounting major from Port Arthur, proposed completing an accounting internship with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Paige Miller, a nursing major from Port Neches, proposed working as an intern at the Children’s Malnutrition Center in San Juan, Guatemala, and using the nursing process model in her patient care.

Amy Morgan, an English/Spanish major from Silsbee, proposed traveling in Argentina where she would attend a literary seminar, meet the seminar’s founder, Mempo Giardinelli, and translate a story by Giardinelli.

Paul Rizk, a chemical engineering/physics/pre-med major from Beaumont, proposed completing a medical internship at a hospital in Malindi, Kenya, followed by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Crissie Vandehoef, a biology/chemistry major from Port Neches, proposed working with the director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health on research on ankylosing spondylitis, a disease from which she suffers.

Two of these students will receive the 2013 David J. Beck Fellowships. At the Nov. 27 ceremony announcing the 2013 fellows, Barnard and Maxwell will discuss their 2012 summer projects.

Barnard, a senior English major, completed a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral to explore Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” in its contemporary setting as a living work. She documented her journey with a blog ( and is completing a book of poetry and photos about the trip.

Maxwell, a senior biology major, worked on a research project on manta rays in Mozambique in conjunction with the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Mega-fauna. She collected DNA samples during dives and continued laboratory work and collaboration with other researchers after returning to campus in hopes of publishing their findings.

Applicants for the David J. Beck Fellowships must be full-time Lamar University undergraduates in any major with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Fellows are selected based on the strength of their complete application packet, including proposed summer project, academic record and financial need. For more information on the David J. Beck Fellowship, visit or call (409) 880-8400.