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Sources: Lisa Beck,;
and John English, 785-532-5590,
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University graduate student in engineering has received a $10,000 Selected Professions Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for the 2010-2011 school year.

Lisa Beck, master's student in civil engineering, Leavenworth, was one of 21 students in the nation to receive the fellowship. To be considered for the honor, Beck had to submit four essays explaining her course of study, leadership and involvement at K-State, body of research, and professional goals. She also had to provide a narrative autobiography, three letters of recommendation and other information.

Beck will use the fellowship to conduct research at K-State investigating how the incorporation of industrial by-products affects concrete's durability and resistance to freezing and thawing.

"My research aims to improve concrete resistance to deterioration as well as decrease the total amount of cement used per unit volume, decreasing both the costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete repair and rehabilitation," she said.

The association's Selected Professions Fellowship has been advancing female graduate students like Beck since its establishment in 1970. The fellowship provides women with opportunities to pursue graduate degrees in fields where females are typically underrepresented, including law, medicine, science, technology, architecture, mathematics and engineering.

The mission of this fellowship is reflected in the endeavors of the engineering programs at K-State, said John English, dean of K-State's College of Engineering.

"One of the priorities of our college has continually been the promotion and advancement of women in engineering," English said. "To have Ms. Beck and her distinguished academic career here at K-State recognized by this prestigious national award affirms our program efforts in this area as well as our overall academic excellence."

Beck plans to graduate in May 2011 and wants to continue her research with concrete and other structure materials as a professor at a major institution.

Beck said she could not have received the fellowship without the opportunities K-State provides to its engineering students.

"K-State, especially the civil engineering and architectural engineering departments, has given me some incredible opportunities, experiences and support," she said. "All of my experiences turned out to be the combination the association was looking for in a Fellow, and my background is linked directly back to my unique K-State experience."

Beck is the daughter of Judith and Gregory Beck, Leavenworth. She graduated from Leavenworth High School in 2004 and earned her bachelor's in architectural engineering from K-State in 2009.