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Donna McCracken

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UIS graduate student receives FMC Fellowship Award

April 30, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Mildred Johnson, a student in the MBA program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received a Graduate Fellowship from Chicago-based FMC Technologies, Inc.  Johnson, a student in the MBA program offered by UIS in Peoria, will receive $9,000 for the 2004-2005 academic year.

FMC graduate fellowships are made to outstanding students in business administration, engineering, or related fields in recognition of noteworthy achievements. Students are nominated by their program advisers and final selections are made by representatives of FMC, the U of I, and the U of I Foundation.

Johnson entered the MBA program in fall 2003. John Palmer, associate professor and director of the program, submitted her name in consideration for the award. “Mildred came to the program with very positive references, a thoughtful and articulate statement of objectives, and strong credentials. In her first semester, faculty noted that her interpersonal communication and analytical skills were excellent. We expect her to be one of the top performers in the program,” he said.

Johnson is a finance supervisor with State Farm Insurance Companies and has been employed by State Farm since 1991. Steadily working her way into increasingly responsible positions, she is currently charged with carrying out a number of key managerial functions such as production management, employee development, conflict resolution, and team building.

She earned the bachelor’s degree in accounting at Illinois State University where her cumulative grade-point average was 3.76 (on a 4.00 scale). At ISU she received a National Achievement Scholarship and was selected as a Robert G. Bone scholar, the highest honor that undergraduate ISU students can receive. She was also a member of the Honors and Presidential Scholars programs and completed an Inroads-St. Louis internship.

While still an undergraduate student, she sat for the Certified Public Accountant exam and passed on her first attempt. Taking the Graduate Management Admission Test in preparation for entering the MBA program she achieved a cumulative score of 630 and ranked in the top 3 percent of all test-takers on the verbal portion.

Said Johnson, “Besides being the realization of a personal goal, I also hope my pursuit of an MBA will inspire others to continue their education. Many students underestimate the value of a college education and fail to prepare themselves. I hope to show them that it is possible to overcome adversity and succeed if you dare to dream, set goals, sacrifice, and work hard.”

The UIS Peoria MBA format is designed to meet the needs of students who are employed full-time, but wish to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Courses are offered so that it is possible for students to complete degree requirements in 21 months.

The FMC Educational Fund (formerly the Link-Belt Educational Fund) was established in 1963 by U of I alumnus Bert Gayman, who donated a large block of company stock to the U of I Foundation.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.