Harrison P. McKinnis, a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, was named one of the top eight scorers for the 2021 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship program.
Each year, Phi Kappa Phi names a total of 65 Fellowship recipients with the top eight scorers being awarded an 1897 Fellowship valued at $35,000, a Sherrill Carlson Fellowship valued at $35,000, and six Marcus L. Urann Fellowships valued at $8,500 each.
McKinnis graduated from UM with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a minor in mathematics and economics. He accomplished a GPA of 4.0 with 179 credit hours in his chosen field of study. While there, he served as an undergraduate research assistant, participating in NASA-funded research which performed molecular dynamics simulations to test the viability of polymer materials and ionic liquids in Martian environments for potential exploration and colonization.
He was also an honor student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, worked as a teaching assistant, and was the financial planner for the Freshmen Ventures program. His awards earned include the University of Mississippi Student Hall of Fame (Class of 2021), the Taylor Medal (UM School of Engineering), the Omicron Delta Kappa Freshman Leadership Award and the Paul H. Johnson Outstanding Senior in the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence.
He has also been recognized for his community activities including serving as the vice president of The Columns Society, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, an honors ambassador at SMBHC, a peer leader at the MPower Conference and partaking in volunteer work for organizations such as the Missing Maps Organization, Oxford Food Pantry, Trees Atlanta and the Houston Food Bank.
He will be pursuing his graduate studies at Cornell University where he will earn a Master of Engineering degree in chemical engineering with a specialization in energy economics and engineering.
“This support for my continued learning empowers me to better focus on improving my knowledge and skillset for a future career in the energy industry,” McKinnis said on receiving the Fellowship. “Thank you to all professors, university staff, professional mentors, and classmates for helping me develop as a student, professional, and lifelong learner.”
Each active Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards.
“In recent years, several of our University of Mississippi students have won significant scholarships in the national Phi Kappa Phi competition. Harrison’s achievement as one of the top-scoring candidates in the nation is extraordinary, as is he. We are very proud to call him a UM chapter member and so excited for what he will be able to accomplish in the future,” Dr. Debora Wenger, UM Phi Kappa Phi board member said.