Contact: Paige Watson
STARKVILLE, Miss.â€”Eight freshmen from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee make up the first class of James Patterson Teacher Education Scholars at Mississippi State.
All majoring in elementary education at the university, they are receiving $6,000 academic awards made possible by a gift earlier this year from New York Times bestselling author and his wife.
The inaugural Patterson Scholars include Hannah Duke of Birmingham, Alabama; Amanda R. Hayes of Madison, Alabama; Brooke D. Leggett of Centerville, Alabama; Caitlin N. McFarland of Franklin, Tennessee; Jodie L. Newsom of Laurel; Mary Hannah Swan of Madison; Caroline G. Thomas of Cumming, Georgia; and Abigail K. Yann of Franklin, Tennessee.
â€śThis very generous gift for teacher education scholarships exemplifies the values and commitment of James Patterson and his wife, Susan Solie Patterson, to quality education,â€ť said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. â€śThe Pattersons have become a tremendous force for good in higher education, and we are very pleased to have Mississippi State affiliated with the work of their foundation.â€ť
James Patterson is best-known for the Alex Cross, Womenâ€™s Murder Club and Michael Bennett crime novels series, as well as several popular book series for young adults. In addition to holding the Guinness record for most No. 1 New York Times bestsellers of any author, he was the first to achieve 10 million ebook sales.
To be honored with a Patterson Scholarship, students applying must have demonstrated that they â€śunderstand the importance of promoting literacy and have the motivation and intent to instill in their students an enduring and lasting love of reading,â€ť according to the selection criteria.
The MSU awards also are limited to full-time, first-time freshmen and graduate students in the College of Education. Additionally, those eligible must be elementary and secondary education majors with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (based on a 4.0 scale) and an expressed interest in English language arts.
The scholarships are awarded without regard to age, gender, race, creed, religion, national origin, physical handicap or other protected class.
For information about this and other MSU College of Education scholastic awards, visit www.educ.msstate.edu/academics/scholarship.
MSU is Mississippiâ€™s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.