Macro PhD student wins DOD SMART Scholarship

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Michelle Leslie, a PhD candidate studying macromolecular science and engineering, has been awarded a Department of Defense Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship, along with Shannon Smith, a senior studying math and music.
Case Western Reserve represented well in the SMART Scholarship competition this year, with awards also going to chemical engineering major Lauren Anderson and mechanical engineering major Diana Illingsworth.
Leslie attributes winning the SMART Scholarship this time around to networking. Last November, just before the deadline to submit her application, Leslie attended a meet-and-greet event for macromolecular science and engineering students at Case Western Reserve and struck up a conversation with someone who worked at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
That short conversation resulted in a mentor-mentee relationship, and also allowed Leslie to walk away with tips on how to bolster her application for the SMART Scholarship program.
When she received her scholarship offer, she realized her chance conversation paid off: Her placement would be at Wright-Patterson.
“I put myself out there,” she said. “I’m so unbelievably happy I did because I applied for this three times. I really want this scholarship.”
Learn more about Leslie and Smith.