Two students named as 2012 Beck Fellows

The SE Texas Record Dec. 6, 2011, 4:45am

2012 David J. Beck Fellows Chelsea Barnard of Port Neches, left, and Elisabeth Maxwell of Beaumont with Lamar University President James Simmons. The fellowships were made possible by a donation from attorney David J. Beck.

Chelsea Barnard of Port Neches and Elisabeth Maxwell of Beaumont have been chosen as the 2012 recipients of Lamar University's most prestigious undergraduate award, the David J. Beck Fellowship.

This is the first time in the four-year history of the fellowship that two David J. Beck Fellows have been chosen in a single year and the first time that a student has been selected twice. Maxwell also is the 2011 David J. Beck Fellow.

Simmons presented Barnard and Maxwell with engraved medallions and certificates. Each student also will receive a full scholarship for one year � including tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board � and funding to pursue a summer project proposed as part of her application packet.

Barnard, 20, a junior English major, plans to revisit the pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral in its contemporary setting to explore Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" as a living work while documenting her journey with a blog, video and book.

Maxwell, 21, a junior biology major, plans to complete a research project on two species of manta rays in Mozambique in conjunction with the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Mega-fauna. As the 2011 David J. Beck Fellow, she completed an internship with the South African Shark Conservancy this past summer to further her interest in marine biology and conservation.

A unique undergraduate fellowship program, the David J. Beck Fellowship was made possible by a generous gift to the Lamar University Foundation from David J. Beck, a 1961 LU graduate and founding partner of Beck, Redden & Secrest, LLP, a boutique litigation firm in Houston. A distinguished alumnus, Beck created the fellowship to reward academic excellence and to allow top students to further challenge themselves.

The David J. Beck Fellowship is open to full-time undergraduates of any major with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher and may be repeated upon successful reapplication. Based on application packets, the Beck Fellowship committee selected six students for finalist interviews and recommended Barnard and Maxwell to receive the fellowship.

For more information on the David J. Beck Fellowship, visit or call (409) 880-8400.

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