KU Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship awarded to 2023 graduate Aylar Atadurdyyeva

LAWRENCE — Aylar Atadurdyyeva, a 2023 University of Kansas graduate who successfully completed four bachelor's degrees — global & international studies, microbiology, political science and Slavic studies — is the 2024 winner of the James Blackiston Memorial Graduate Fellowship from the KU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Atadurdyyeva won $1,500 and is the chapter’s nominee for a national Phi Kappa Phi fellowship.

Aylar Atadurdyyeva

Atadurdyyeva, originally from Turkmenistan, was a Rhodes Scholar nominee. She also received multiple honors from KU including the Class of 1913 Award, Clark Coan Leadership Award and the Outstanding International Woman Student Award. She was named the state of Kansas Student Employee of the Year after winning the same award at KU.

She was a clinical research fellow at Department of Radiation Oncology in the KU School of Medicine and worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. She was also active in a broad range of activities and endeavors, serving as a Security Affairs Research Fellow at the Foreign Military Studies Office at the United States Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth and as a Think Tank Scholar with the U.S.-Russia Foundation and Howard University.

“Aylar is a terrific student — one of the three best I have taught in over 30 years at the undergraduate level, meaning I measure her performance against several thousand undergraduate students,” said Robert Rohrschneider, Sir Robert Worcester Distinguished Professor of Political Science. “She is extremely smart, very driven and has intellectual depth and dexterity that I hardly ever see in any student, especially at the undergraduate level.”

In addition to her academic and research accomplishments, Atadurdyyeva dedicated time to serving the broader university community. In 2023, she was executive director of the Big Event, KU’s largest public service event. She was also executive director of KU’s Homecoming Committee in 2023. She also worked as an academic tutor for KU’s Transition to Postsecondary Education program.

Atadurdyyeva plans to pursue a graduate degree in biological and biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University.

About the Blackiston Fellowship

The Blackiston Fellowship was created to honor the memory of James Blackiston, a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics and an instructor in the Intensive English Center, now the Applied English Center, at KU. He graduated from Michigan State University, where he was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. In 1975, Blackiston played a key role in the formation and activation of the KU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

The Blackiston Fellowship recipient becomes the KU chapter’s nominee for one of nearly 60 fellowships from Phi Kappa Phi with values from $5,000 to $15,000. These national fellowships provide assistance to students during their first year of post-graduate study.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. More than 100,000 members maintain their active status in Phi Kappa Phi, which offers them numerous benefits as dues-paying members including access to $1.4 million in awards and grants each biennium.

Wed, 06/05/2024


Cody Howard

Media Contacts

Cody Howard

School of Engineering