September 03, 2013

Jeanette Grider

Parks Students Receive Clare Boothe Luce Fellowships

Miranda Turlin

The Henry Luce Foundation, through the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program, has awarded fellowships to two students at Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

The CBL Program strives to increase the participation of women in the sciences and engineering at every level of higher education and to serve as a catalyst for colleges and universities to be proactive in their own efforts toward this goal. The CBL program is the single largest private source of funding for women in science and engineering.

Miranda Turlin, a doctoral student in the aerospace and mechanical engineering program, with a concentration in thermal-fluid sciences, said the fellowship will provide invaluable educational and experiential learning experiences as she prepares for the future.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to earn my Ph.D. in Engineering under the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship," Turlin said. "The fellowship enables me to continue my work in computational fluid dynamics and develop skills that will make me a valued member of a research team in the future. With the support of the fellowship and faculty at Parks College, I hope to serve as a role model to women in the male-dominated field of engineering and continue building the legacy of Clare Boothe Luce."

Mary Jennerjohn, who is also a Ph.D. student in the aerospace and mechanical engineering program with a concentration in thermal-fluid sciences, shared her inspiration and insight on receiving the fellowship.

Mary Jennerjohn

"I believe all great accomplishments are born from natural passion," Jennerjohn said. "As a first generation college student, I may not have had the opportunity to pursue my passion and further my education in engineering without the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship and the support of the Parks College faculty, and for that I am eternally grateful. Through Luce's foresight I have been given the opportunity to continue her work. I hope to inspire and motivate women around the world to pursue their passion and empower those who dare to dream as big as Clare Boothe Luce."

Phillip Ligrani, Ph.D., Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair and Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, said the fellowships provide unique and exciting opportunities for exemplary female graduate students who want to pursue doctoral degrees at Parks.

"We are very grateful to the Clare Boothe Luce program for providing fellowship support for these two gifted and deserving young women," Ligrani said. "The combination of this prestigious support and the natural intellectual talents of the two recipients will lead to new understanding and broadened knowledge of important scientific phenomena, within a mentoring framework that supports the highest standards of academic accomplishment. As such, the impact of these activities will be lasting and long-term, as the development of two world-class leaders is supported and enhanced."

Mark McQuilling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, who will work closely with Ligrani and the students, said the rewards of the fellowship will reach far into the future.

"We couldn't be more proud of these two very deserving young women," McQuilling said. "They have already demonstrated an excellent aptitude for leadership, scholarship and research, and the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship will allow them to become even more influential as they progress beyond their education and into the larger scientific community."

In addition, Turlin will have a corporate mentor, Katie Fox, an aerodynamics engineer at The Boeing Company, and Jennerjohn will have an additional academic mentor, Elizabeth Bowles, Senior Research Assistant in SLU's Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science.

About Clare Boothe Luce: Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was a remarkable woman whose career spanned seven decades and included many professional interests: journalism, politics, theater, diplomacy and intelligence. Under the terms of her will, she chose to establish a legacy that would benefit current and future generations of women with talent and ambition in areas where they continue to be extremely underrepresented - the sciences and engineering. Half of all awards made under the CBL Program must go to Roman Catholic colleges or universities, as specified by Mrs. Luce. Mrs. Luce was the wife of Henry R. Luce, founder of the Henry Luce Foundation and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc.

Since its inception in 1989, grants totaling over $120 million have been made to 152 different colleges and universities. These grants have benefited more than 1,550 women with undergraduate research awards, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships or professorships.

About Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology: Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology ( strives to cultivate practitioners, leaders, and thinkers in aviation, engineering, and science by disseminating and integrating values, knowledge and skills in the pursuit of truth. Parks College was founded by Oliver "Lafe" Parks in 1927, and was the first federally approved school of aeronautics, receiving Air Agency Certificate #1.

During the World War II era, the college and its subsidiaries were responsible for training one of every 10 Army Air Corps pilots, plus thousands of aircraft mechanics. In 1946, Oliver Parks gave Parks College to Saint Louis University. It is the only Jesuit university in the U.S. with a flight program.

Today, Parks College has a worldwide reputation for exemplary aviation and aerospace engineering programs through a variety of undergraduate and graduate disciplines, including aerospace engineering, aviation management, flight sciences/professional piloting, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering and biomedical engineering.

For more information about the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowships at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, contact Dr. Phillip Ligrani at

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