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Virginia State Universities Are Rich in History

The state of Virginia is historically known as the "Mother of Presidents," as eight U.S. presidents were born there. But as more exceptional students emerge from Virginia universities, it's becoming apparent that the state is still creating future leaders in a variety of fields. To learn more about the excellence that students at Virginia state universities are displaying, read on.

Awesome Alums
Graduation from Virginia colleges and universities is just the beginning of a lifetime of achievement for students. Alumni from George Mason University are regularly recognized throughout the media. In its review of the best photos from 2005, Time magazine included a photo taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by a Mason alum who worked for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

Other noteworthy alums from recent years include a communications major who is now a producer at CNN's Washington, DC. bureau, and an applied mathematics major who works at the Center for Naval Analyses and upon whom the female lead character in "Top Gun" was based. In addition, electrical engineering and Ph.D public policy major, Ron Hira, received media attention for a book (co-written by his brother) about the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, and the possible causes for it.

Students Gain Recognition

At Virginia state universities students are able to exercise their scholastic skills and gain widespread recognition for them. University of Virginia (U.Va.) students have been at the forefront of this trend. In the February 2006 issue of Ebony Magazine, a U.Va. law student was named one of Ebony's 30 Leaders of the Future, for her schoolwork and status as chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA).

During late March 2006, four graduate students were awarded Faculty Senate Dissertation-Year Fellowships amounting to $25,000 each to fund their final year of doctoral work. The fellowships are awarded to graduate students who have displayed excellence in their research and in their teaching duties. A U.Va. mechanical engineering student recently showed off his know-how by designing a new life jacket. His design won an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association and netter him $5,000.

Award-Winning Scholars
Virginia universities are the premier learning institutions for allowing students to excel in their chosen fields. At the University of Richmond, two juniors were declared winners of Barry M. Goldwater scholarships, an award shared by only 323 students across the country. The scholarships amount to up to $7,500 a year, and are given to students who excel in mathematics, engineering, or the natural sciences. Two other students from the University of Richmond, were awarded grants to study in former Soviet bloc countries during the summer of 2006. The students will study the culture of bazaars in Lithuania and Russia, and then report on their findings through Richmond programs and publications.

For students who want to prove themselves early and often, universities in Virginia may be just the place. But before deciding, you should do more research into the programs and majors that Virginia state universities offer until you find the one that's right for you.


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