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Three EECS Students are 2021 Bodenheimer Fellowship Awardees

The awardees of the 2021 Bodenheimer Fellowship in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have been announced. This year’s recipients include Rachel Offutt, Ankush Patel, and Vince Wilson.

The Bodenheimer Fellowships, valued at $10,000 per year per person, are combined with GTA/GRA positions bringing the total package to more than $43,000 per year. The fellowships are awarded to superior or deserving EECS graduates from UT to encourage them to stay on for graduate school at UT. These students, who often have GPAs of 3.8 or above, are being recruited with similar offers from the very best graduate programs in the country and these fellowships allow us to make them competitive offers.

Picture of Rachel Offutt

Rachel Offutt

Rachel Offutt is pursuing a PhD in computer science under Michael Langston.

“Receiving the Bodenheimer Fellowship is an honor, and an amazing opportunity,” Offutt said. “I love collaborating with colleagues in Dr. Langston’s lab who are at the top in their field, and receiving the Bodenheimer Fellow allows me to fully focus on research and my work without the added stress of financial requirements. Being a graduate student in EECS at UT has opened so many amazing opportunities for me, and I am extremely grateful.”

Picture of Ankush Patel

Ankush Patel

Ankush Patel is a double major in computer science and mathematics. However, he will be pursuing a master’s degree in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence.

“I am truly grateful and honored to be a recipient of the Bodenheimer Fellowship because I will be joining the ranks of determined individuals who have a burning passion for their respective fields of study,” Patel said. “Moreover, I am humbled to be given the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the people in front of me, who have achieved amazing things. I am ecstatic that I can pursue a master’s degree in Computer Science without financial worry because it will return an incredible amount of time that I can use to sharpen my skills and bolster my knowledge.”

Picture of Vince Wilson

Vince Wilson

While Vince Wilson’s undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering, for his PhD he is switching to electrical engineering with a focus on power systems.

“The Bodenheimer fellowship takes a massive weight off my shoulders by basically enabling me to not worry about finances; rent is a non-issue, I can pay-down student loans to some degree, and I have a little left-over every month to pursue hobbies without worrying too much about cost. So now instead of dividing mental energy between school and home or finance issues, I can focus most of that energy into working on school.”

Each student may receive the fellowship for up to five semesters while pursuing the MS degree and an additional ten semesters when pursuing the PhD degree on a full-time basis.

About the Bodenheimer Fellowship

The Bodenheimer Fellowships were established in honor of Robert E. Bodenheimer who taught ECE courses at UT for nearly forty years prior to his retirement. The primary benefactor has been one of his students, Michael C. Crabtree, who received his BS in 1973 and MS in 1975 from UT, both in electrical engineering. Crabtree was one of the founders of CTI (Siemens) Molecular Imaging, Inc.

An applicant must be a US citizen with preference given for residents of the State of Tennessee and be accepted or enrolled as a full-time student in the EECS graduate program at UT with a superior academic record and/or financial need. Applications are due each January with award offers made in March for students beginning (or continuing) their programs in the summer or fall or the next spring terms. The selection committee consists of Crabtree, professors Blalock, Bouldin, Rose, and Bodenheimer & Dr. Marc Bodenheimer (MD).