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Escobar Awarded National Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

June 22, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University alumna Jillian Escobar, a May graduate with degrees in communication sciences and disorders and music – piano performance, has been awarded a $5,000 fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Escobar will use the national award to pursue her doctoral degree in audiology this fall.

"I am sincerely honored to be the recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship," said Escobar. "Phi Kappa Phi's dedication toward the pursuit of knowledge and educational excellence has always inspired me to reach for greatness. It is a huge privilege for me to have the opportunity to pursue my passion for knowledge at Northwestern University, and this fellowship, and the support of Phi Kappa Phi, will have a huge impact on my future education and career as I move forward."

Escobar was named the winner of the WIU chapter's $500 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship this year. The honor qualified her to compete for the national award.

"Jillian Escobar is an exceptionally talented recipient of the PKP Fellowship award," said WIU PKP Treasurer and Professor Robert Intrieri. "She is a dual major and has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities throughout her time at WIU.  Her research, which comprised her Honors thesis, won an award at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Day, held at WIU. She is superbly qualified and very deserving of the PKP Fellowship."

Escobar was also named the University's recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois' Student Laureate Award for 2017. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the Communication Sciences and Disorders Departmental Scholar, the Music Departmental Scholar and a Centennial Honors Scholar.

"Jillian is one among the most talented and accomplished students in the history of the Centennial Honors College," said Honors College Director Rick Hardy. "She is a tremendous ambassador for our University, and we will be nominating her for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in September."

The national Phi Kappa Phi office awards 51 of the $5,000 fellowships each year to students who are beginning graduate or professional studies.

This is the second year in a row a WIU student has won a PKP national fellowship. In 2017, alumnus Nicholas Breslin won the fellowship and is using the award to pursue his doctoral studies at Michigan State University.

Since its creation in 1932, the fellowship program has become one of the society's most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $345,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate or professional study.

The selection process for the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship is based on the applicants' evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.

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