Julia Zickus ’23 has been awarded an $8,500 fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which she will use to launch her career as an Alzheimer’s Disease researcher.
Zickus, of McHenry, Illinois, is one of only 62 recipients nationwide to receive a fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi (PKP), the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. She also received a $1,000 award from Elmhurst University’s local PKP chapter, for a total award of $9,500.
Zickus graduated from Elmhurst University this past May with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and biology. She also minored in religious studies and was a member of the Honors Program.
Throughout her time at Elmhurst, Zickus devoted herself to scientific research. Her research abstracts were accepted to the National Collegiate Honors Conference, where she placed second in the natural sciences; the National Conference for Undergraduate Research; and the American Genetics Society International C. elegans conference.
She also contributed significantly to the Elmhurst University community, serving as president of the Biology Honors Society, a resident assistant, a peer mentor to students in biology and chemistry courses, and a chemistry peer tutor in the Learning Center.
As a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow, Zickus will pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry and cellular biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is grateful that the PKP Fellowship will help her pursue her goals.
“I’ve always had a deep-rooted passion to study and research Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. “Beginning my Ph.D. at MD Anderson-UT Texas is making that dream possible.”
Since its creation in 1932, the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Program has become one of the honor society’s most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $649,000 annually to outstanding students for first-year graduate or professional study.
The selection process for a fellowship is based on the applicant’s evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals, and acceptance in an approved graduate or professional program.
Elmhurst students interested in applying for national fellowship or scholarships, including the PKP Fellowship, should contact Marisa Mancini, national fellowships and scholarship coordinator, at Marisa.Mancini@elmhurst.edu or visit elmhurst.edu/academics/national-fellowships-scholarships.
About Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. Founded in 1897, the society has chapters at more than 325 select colleges and universities in the United States, its territories and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society’s mission is “to recognize and advance excellence in all fields of higher education and society, and engage the community of scholars in service to others.”