Doctoral sociology student Rachel Schmitz is one of six students to recieve a 2015-16 Presidential Graduate Fellowships from the University of Nebraska. The prestigious fellowships honor a select group of NU graduate students each year on the basis of high scholastic performance and personal accomplishment. Fellows receive a stipend provided through the NU Foundation that allows them to pursue their studies full-time.
“The students who receive Presidential Graduate Fellowships represent the highest level of success at the graduate level," University of Nebraska President Hanks Bounds said. "We are incredibly proud of the work they do, and we are fortunate to have a level of private support that allows them to fully devote themselves to their studies and research. These students are already making important contributions to their fields that are benefiting the university and people in the state and beyond. I’m eager to see what they accomplish in the future.”
Through her research, Schmitz hopes to provide better understanding of social phenomena. Her doctoral dissertation will focus on gender and sexuality among minority groups by studying LGBT members of the homeless community and LGBT college students.
Schmitz has already achieved noteworthy success in the literary field. Thus far, Schmitz has seven scholarly publications, with four already published and three forthcoming, and has another four currently under review. Schmitz is the first sociology student in the department’s history to take both of her required comprehensive exams at the same time. Schmitz received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and Spanish from Wayne State College in 2009 before coming to UNL for graduate work. She plans to one day secure a job in academia and research disenfranchised groups, including homeless youth and LGBT young adults.