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Good news!

So it looks like months of patiently waiting have come to an end. I have completed two major milestones, which I began way back in May/June.

1) I have been officially accepted into the chemical engineering graduate program at Arizona State University. This was alot harder than I originally thought it would be, considering I went there as an undergrad. But the delay was mostly due to all the paperwork and the delayed letter of recommendation from my former advisor at NC State.  After hassling him for nearly a month, and then seeing him in person and making it clear that my admission was waiting on his letter (all the others had already been received), he finally wrote it.  Literally two days afterward, I received notice that I was officially admitted into the program.

2) Today my NSF GRF (Graduate Research Fellowship) was transferred from NC State to ASU. This is a MAJOR milestone. Since I had put the fellowship on hold due to medical leave, I had to submit a letter from a health care provider supporting my return to school. Well, when I went back to Raleigh at the end of July, my old doctor who had first diagnosed me with the fibromyalgia and had supported my medical leave in the first place had left the university. So I had to meet with a brand new doctor, who was totally unaware of my case, and had not seen me in my state prior to leaving NC. So, basically, I had to persuade her that the climate change and being in Arizona had drastically improved my condition (note, not cured it, just IMPROVED it immensely). She wrote a letter in support of it, just because she felt bad for me I think. She was a bit upset that I had not been under the care of a health provider during the last year, but I couldnt afford to pay $400 a month for health insurance. How does anyone afford health insurance if your job doesn’t cover it? Anyhow, after submitting the letter, I still hadn’t heard from NSF regarding my tenure status….and my tuition, fees, health insurance and monthly stipend all depend on that fellowship. To make a long story short, I found someone at ASU who had a contact at NSF, who within 15 minutes approved my status change, and Voila! I received the following letter in my inbox shortly after that:

Congratulations! The NSF website shows that you are now ‘‘on tenure” for receipt of your NSF Fellowship Predoctoral award for the 2006-2007 academic year, beginning August 2006.  In addition to the fellowship stipend of $30,000, you will receive the following institutional support:


  • Resident tuition (valued at $5,930)
  • Nonresident tuition (if applicable—valued at $16,516 resident + nonresident tuition)
  • Health insurance (valued at $1,264)
  • $750 in research support 
  • Summer tuition (up to 6 credit hours)

Whew! Now I can breather easier knowing everything is in place. Tomorrow I register for classes. I will also officially choose my new advisor and begin research shortly after! I can’t wait to get paid again.

2 Responses to “Good news!”

  1. kledus says:


    and the cake lookes awesome…if it tastes as good as it looks Mark’s a lucky guy. (even luckier that is)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Way to go honey! You are awesome, but you already know that ,huh.Love ya! Mom P.S. great lookin’ cake!

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