Three Northwestern Alumni granted Graduate Fellowships by the Alumnae of Northwestern University

EVANSTON, IL –  The Alumnae of Northwestern University has selected three recipients to receive 2012 Graduate Fellowships for graduate-level tuition. The fellowships are awarded to full-time students in terminal Master’s degree programs who show promise of achieving distinction in careers that will serve the public good. Criteria for selection include quality of scholarship, leadership, community service, professional experience and financial need.

Alice Zhao, from Aurora, IL, received her BS in Electrical Engineering from McCormick School of Engineering, and, as a member of the inaugural class, will receive her Masters in Analytics from McCormick in December 2012. As an undergraduate, Alice was a research assistant in the Image and Video Processing laboratory and a TB tracker for Global Healthcare Technologies her senior year. She was involved in several mentoring and teaching programs and played the cymbals for the university marching band. A systems integration and technology analyst for Accenture, she is described as a “go-to resource when something needs to get done.”

Natalie Friend, from Sandy Springs, GA, received her BA in Philosophy and Linguistics, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and will receive her Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology. She is enrolled in The Graduate School, but her program is part of the School of Communication, in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2014. As an undergraduate, Natalie worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant for the Center for Talent Development at the university. She is currently a research assistant in the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory, studying language impairment in individuals with autism and Fragile X Syndrome. As part of the speech-language pathology program, she works with clients at Northwestern’s Speech and Language Clinic on the Evanston campus. She is described as “an outstanding student who has tremendous potential as a future clinician-scientist in the field of developmental disabilities.”

Kenneth Hutchinson, currently residing in Park Forest, IL, received his BS in Education, School of Education and Social Policy, in March 2004, and is expected to receive his Master of Science in Speech, Language & Learning, School of Communication, in 2014. After graduation, Kenneth worked as coordinator of African-American Recruitment and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Northwestern. He is currently the Director of College Counseling for Chicago Urban Prep, where he created and led the efforts that resulted in 100% college admission for its young men, an achievement recognized in the Chicago Tribune. He has developed partnerships with educational institutions and organizations both nationally and abroad and secured millions of dollars in grants and scholarships. He has designed Urban Prep’s summer enrichment program, its Life Skills/College Prep Track and several other initiatives. Kenneth has been lauded by his colleagues “for the daily contributions he makes in the lives of young men and for his exceptional skills in program development and design.”

According to The Alumnae of Northwestern University president, Dee Hanlon, “our Fellowship Committee had a difficult time choosing recipients from an extraordinary group of applicants.  Our organization is pleased to support NU outstanding graduates of Northwestern by awarding these fellowships.”

The Alumnae of Northwestern University is an all-volunteer organization of women that raises funds for a wide range of projects to benefit the University and showcases the University’s academic resources with the community through its Continuing Education program. Founded in 1916, it has given more than $6 million in gifts and grants to the school, including more than $250,000 given in 2011. For more information, visit the Alumnae website (