The Margin of Excellence program was developed by Alltech as a means of rewarding the dedication of graduate students in the study of science while promoting technology and development in Kentucky. The fellowship is a stipend of $40,000 per year for a maximum of five years for each graduate fellow. This stipend is in addition to any awards given by the university.
“This program is very exciting to us because it attracts brilliant, young minds to our state,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “We believe Ph.D. should no longer be an acronym for Poor, Hungry, and Driven. Students have to put their lives completely on hold to further their education because today’s doctoral studies take an average of five to six years to complete. We want to reward the dedication and enthusiasm of these students by enabling them to focus entirely on their studies.”
In addition to the yearly stipend of $40,000, the fellowship provides funds for travel to conferences and other laboratories, bonuses for extraordinary performance, mentoring, and unique links to the industry. Since one of the primary goals of the Margin of Excellence Program is to attract and retrain talent in Kentucky, students will receive a retention bonus of $10,000 if they remain and work in Kentucky for three years following completion of their fellowship.
“With a maximum potential sponsorship of each fellow at $200,000, this is a significant investment for Alltech,” said Dr. Lyons. “However, we believe the backbone of the future is the education of our youth.”
Alltech is delighted to award Anne Koontz with its first fellowship. Koontz holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and currently is completing her Master of Science in Animal Nutrition from the University of Kentucky. She will begin her doctoral studies at the University of Kentucky this fall. Koontz was nominated for the fellowship by Dr. David Harmon, director of graduate studies for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
“We are thrilled to name Anne Koontz our very first Alltech – University of Kentucky Margin of Excellence Fellow,” said Dr. Inge Russell, director of the Margin of Excellence program. “Throughout her educational career, she has demonstrated excellence in her work and enthusiasm for animal science. She is a very talented young lady, and we are proud to have her represent our Margin of Excellence program.”
The Margin of Excellence is just one facet of Alltech’s commitment to education. Five science laboratories have been built as part of Alltech’s promise to construct a new science laboratory for a grade school each year. Alltech is already involved with the University of Kentucky on the Alltech-UK Nutrition Research Alliance at Coldstream and sponsors the annual Alltech-UK Opera Theatre Competition with $250,000 in prizes. Higher education is also promoted on a global level through Alltech’s Young Scientist Competition, which attracted a record 750 applicants from around the world last year.
Photo (l to r): Lexington Mayor, Jim Newberry, Dr. Pearse Lyons, Anne Koontz, UK President, Dr. Lee Todd, Nathan Hohman, Alltech
Alltech is the proud sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010™ to be held in Kentucky, USA.