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Plan II Honors

Plan II Awards & Recognition

Plan II ranked as a top public honors program by Public University Honors

INSIDE HONORS: Ratings and Reviews of Sixty Public University Honors Programs consistently ranks Plan II as one of only a few programs in the nation worthy of its highest rating of five “mortarboards”. Plan II was ranked again as a five mortarboard program, one of only 11 programs in the nation with this ranking. Rankings looked at criteria such as honors class offerings and size of classes, graduation rates, ratio of staff to students, amenities, housing, and prestigious awards such as Marshall and Truman Scholars. Full information about the ranking can be found at:

Plan II students are highly competitive for major national scholarships, such as the Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships, as well as University scholarships and awards. The following links will take to you to a summary of recent Plan II student achievements for each award:

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the non-profit sector, or elsewhere in public service.  The Truman Scholarship has a service requirement.  Scholars selected are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation funded graduate degree program. 

Some sixty-five Truman Scholarships are awarded annually to students throughout the United States. The University has enjoyed great success in pursuing the Truman Scholarship since its inception in 1978.  Following is a list of the UT Austin Truman Scholars.  Note that many of the Truman Scholars from the University of Texas during the last 30 years have been Plan II majors with a very wide variety of additional majors, ranging from finance to chemical engineering to government and architecture.

  • Steven Mitchell Rudner, Plan II Honors, 1984
  • John Anderson Edwards, Plan II Honors, 1987 (alternate)  
  • Kevin Duane McHargue, Plan II Honors, 1991
  • Cliff William Vrielink, Plan II Honors, 1990  (alternate)  
  • Lisa Nicole Davis, Plan II Honors/Sociology, 1995
  • Glenn Otis Brown, Plan II Honors and History, 1996
  • Marianna (Marina) Vishnevetsky, Plan II Honors, Russian and Government, 1999
  • Sara Cecilia Galvan, Plan II Honors and Spanish; Bachelor of Architecture, 2001
  • Richa M. Gulati, Plan II Honors and Asian Studies, 2002
  • Alexandra Chirinos, Plan II Honors, BBA, Business Honors and Finance, 2003
  • Heidi S. Boutros, Plan II Honors and Government, 2004
  • Corrina A. Kester, Plan II Honors; BS, Chemical Engineering, 2004
  • Lauren Gilstrap, Plan II Honors; BBA, Business Honors and Finance, 2006
  • Rebekah Sue Perry, Plan II Honors, Government and Philosophy, 2006
  • Manasi Deshpande, Plan II Honors, Economics and Mathematics, 2007
  • Lauren Koehler, Plan II Honors, Government and Spanish, 2008
  • Marissa Duswalt, Plan II Honors and Nutrition, 2010

The British Marshall Scholarship

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programmes contributes to their ultimate personal success.

The British Marshall Scholarships fund two full years of graduate study leading to a degree in Great Britain.  In the past these awards have taken U.T. students, in fields ranging from Electrical Engineering and Government to Mathematics and French, to Oxford, Cambridge, and other British universities. 

  • Gordon Langston Wells, Plan II Honors, 1977
  • James Norris Loehlin, Plan II Honors, 1986
  • John Christopher Rozendaal,  Plan II Honors, 1989
  • Jacqueline Colette Trimier, Plan II Honors, 1991
  • Paul Domjan, Plan II Honors and Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies, 2001
  • Jack Tannous, Plan II Honors, Middle Eastern Studies, Arabic, History, 2002
  • Michael Hoffmann, Plan II Honors and BS in Biochemistry, 2003
  • James Scott, Plan II Honors; BS in Mathematics, 2004
  • Heidi Boutros,  Plan II Honors and Government, 2006
  • Zain Yoonas, Plan II Honors, History and Middle Eastern Studies, 2008
  • Dhananjay Jagannathan, Plan II Honors, Philosophy, Classical Civilization and Greek, 2009
  • Grace Eckhoff, Plan II Honors and Biology, 2010
  • (John) Russell Beaumont, Plan II Honors and Architecture, 2014
  • Mark Jbeily, Plan II Honors, 2015
  • Laura Hallas, Plan II Honors, Economics, and Health & Society, 2019
  • Margaret Siu, Plan II Honors, 2020

The Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarships were established after the death of Cecil Rhodes, who dreamed of improving the world through the diffusion of leaders motivated to serve their contemporaries, trained in the contemplative life of the mind, and broadened by their acquaintance with one another and by their exposure to cultures different from their own. Mr. Rhodes hoped that his plan of bringing able students from throughout the English-speaking world and beyond to study at Oxford University would aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace. Each year, 32 U. S. citizens are among more than 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide who take up degree courses at Oxford University. The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.

In the 104 year history of the Rhodes Scholarship, the University of Texas has been awarded 27 scholarships.  Ten of those were awarded between 1904 and 1933, before Plan II Honors was created in 1935.  Of the seventeen UT Rhodes Scholars since 1939, four were Plan II Honors majors:

  • Mark Harold Somerville, Plan II Honors and Electrical Engineering, 1990                  
  • Jennifer Bradley, Plan II Honors and English, 1992
  • Sean Braswell, Plan II Honors, 1999
  • Sara Cecilia Galván, Plan II Honors, Spanish and Architecture, 2001
  • Sai Gourisankar, Plan II Honors and Chemical Engineering, 2015
  • Mikaila Smith, Plan II Honors, 2017

The Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduated course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Five UT Austin students in last ten years have been so honored.  Two were Plan II Honors majors:  

  • Melisa Gerecci, Plan II Honors and Art History, 2004
  • Dhananjay Jagannathan, PlanII Honors, Classics, Philosophy and Greek, 2008

Gates Cambridge Scholars

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are full-cost awards for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the candidate’s academic excellence, a good fit between the Scholar and the University of Cambridge, evidence of leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.  In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust looks for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple. 

In particular, Gates Scholars will be driven by the values of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which include a commitment to reducing inequities and improving lives around the world.  The Foundation’s mission is to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need, particularly in the areas of health and education, often through the use of science and technology. 

The Trust expects a good match to be made between the applicant's qualifications and aspirations and what Cambridge has to offer. Successful applicants will have the ability to make a significant contribution to their discipline while in Cambridge, with a strong aptitude for research, analysis and a creative approach to defining and solving problems.

  • Sarah Tierney, BA, Plan II Honors and BS in Computer Science, 2004

Jacob K. Javits Scholars

The Javits is a Department of Education fellowship for students of the arts, humanities and social sciences who demonstrate superior academic ability and achievement, exceptional promise, and financial need to undertake graduate study.  Jacob K. Javits Fellowships cover tuition and fees and provide up to $30,000 a year for living expenses. Fellows are selected on the basis of financial need and superior academic ability in selected fields of arts, humanities and social sciences.

  • Gautam Tejas Ganeshan
  • Stephanie Hays
  • Will Bibee, Plan II Graduate 2009 (Javits recipient, 2011)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,654 graduate fellowships in this competition pending availability of funds. The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) invests in graduate education for a cadre of diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation.

This fellowship offers recognition and three years of support for advanced study to approximately 900 outstanding graduate students in the natural sciences, the social sciences and engineering. Awards carry a $27,500 annual stipend, and an additional annual cost-of-education allowance of $10,500.

  • Sarah Novak, Plan II Honors and Psychology, 2001
  • Michael J Demkowicz, Plan II Honors, Physics and Aerospace Engineering, 2000
  • Michael M. Hoffman, Plan II Honors and Biochemistry, 2003
  • James Scott, Plan II Honors and Mathematics, 2004
  • Vicki Chang, Plan II Honors and Chemistry Honors, 2010

Mellon Fellowship

The Mellon Fellowship is a nationally competitive award for first-year doctoral students, and fellows may take their awards to any accredited graduate program in the United States or Canada. The Fellowship covers tuition and fees for the first year of graduate study and includes a stipend of $17,500. This year 85 Fellowships were awarded.

  • Kimberly Hill, 2002
  • Stephanie Hays, 2003
  • Gautam Tejas Ganeshan, 2004
  • Justin Glasson, 2004

George Mitchell Fellowship

The Mitchell Scholars Program is a national competitive fellowship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. The Mitchell Scholars Program, named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to public service and community. Twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applicants are judged on three criteria: academic excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment to service and community. The Mitchell Scholars Program provides tuition, housing, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend.

  • Alexandra Chirinos, 2002

Hertz Foundation Fellowship

In 2012, Anjali Datta, a Plan II Honors and electrical and computer engineering senior was selected to receive the Hertz Fellowship, considered to be the nation’s most generous support for graduate education in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences. The Hertz Fellowship is valued at more than $250,000 per student, with support lasting up to five years. Fellows have the freedom to innovate in their doctoral studies without university or research restrictions.

Datta’s research could help lead to earlier diagnosis of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Moynihan, who will pursue her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, hopes to develop a nanostructured drug delivery system that improves disease treatment.

Each year incoming and current Plan II students are recipients of three of UT's premier scholarship programs, the Forty Acres Scholars, the Dedman Distinguished Scholars, and the Larry Temple Scholarship. 

Forty Acres Scholars

The Forty Acres Scholars Program is the premier full-ride, merit-based scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin. Administered by the Texas Exes, this scholarship program connects scholars with the University’s brightest faculty and distinguished alumni. All Forty Acres Scholars receive handsome funding. Their tuition, books, and fees are covered, as well as a living stipend. Each scholar also receives financial support for enrichment activities, including a community service project, an internship, and a global experience—or a combination of each. Learn more about the program and meet the current and former classes of Forty Acres Scholars.

Dedman Distinguished Scholars

Established in 1989, the Dedman Distinguished Scholars Program is committed to recruiting and educating the top Liberal Arts students in the country. Through a close-knit community of students and faculty, unique research and service projects, and other academic enrichment opportunities, Dedman Scholars build the experiences and skills that allow them to successfully compete with the best students in the world.

The program also provides each Dedman Scholar a $26,000 yearly scholarship and an additional one-time allocation of $20,000 to support research, study abroad and other academic pursuits. These scholarship funds are an integral part of the program and provide the Dedman Scholars with the financial freedom to focus on their academic pursuits. Read more about the current Dedman Scholars and some recent Plan II Dedman Scholars graduates

Larry Temple Scholarship 

The Larry Temple Scholarship Endowment was established by The University of Texas System Board of Regents for the benefit of The University of Texas at Austin on October 12, 1990. The Scholarship, a $11,000 a year award renewable for two years, honors Larry Eugene Temple, Austin lawyer and public servant. Read more about a recent Plan II Temple Scholar in the October 2016 edition of Life & Letters.

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