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Montana Technological University Student Receives OCHE Research Fellowship


Sowmya Sudakar Receives OCHE Research Fellowship

Montana Technological University graduate student Sowmya Sudhakar has been selected as an Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) Research Fellow for the spring semester 2020. OCHE Research Fellows will support Academic, Research, and Student Affairs (ARSA) initiatives that promote student and faculty success throughout the Montana University System (MUS). ARSA leadership will mentor fellows, who will participate in project development, data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative), basic research in crucial initiative areas, policy design & implementation, and general campus outreach. Fellows will begin their fellowship term at an orientation hosted at the OCHE office in Helena. OCHE Fellows will have many opportunities for professional development, including presenting what they've learned at the end of the Fellowship term, attending a Board of Regents meeting, and connecting with MUS professionals in the student's field.

Sudhakar chose to focus on student mental health and wellness and the development of a Montana science and technology plan. Her tentative proposal includes both initiatives in coming up with a comprehensive research plan to provide available resources toward awareness for mental health in the Montana University System and Montana overall. Sudhakar, the first Montana Tech student to be represented in this fellowship program, will attend an orientation with two other MUS students.

"Congratulations to Sowmya," noted Bev Hartline, Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. "Her choices of topics are important to Montana and its universities. She will do a great job, and the Montana University System, as well as Montana Tech, are sure to benefit from her insights and efforts."

"I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with ARSA leadership in a significant role towards positive impact in my community and the university system," noted Sudhakar.

"We are very proud of Sowmya and her selection as an OCHE fellow," noted Dr. Jack Skinner, Department Head and Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. "Her leadership and research experience over the past several years at Montana Tech position her to make a meaningful impact within Montana. I look forward to supporting her efforts this coming semester to support mental health and science and technology within the state."

The fellowship comes with a $1,000 stipend and credit for the spring 2020 semester.