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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

May 1, 2002
CONTACT: Amy Cowles
(410) 516-7800

Andrew O'Bannon Wins
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship

Andrew O'Bannon, a Johns Hopkins University senior from Richmond, Va., has been selected as one of the first 50 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholars, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today.

The scholars, ages 19 to 50, receive up to $50,000 a year for up to six years to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field at an accredited university. O'Bannon, who majored in physics and writing, will receive his bachelor's degree later this month and plans to further his studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash. He is one of seven Johns Hopkins University students chosen for this inaugural award.

"As a physics tutor, I learned that I love to teach," says O'Bannon, 22. He wants to teach physics and pursue his own original research, and a university faculty position is the way to do both, he says. O'Bannon credits "writing, filmmaking, and research" with providing him many tools to reach his goal.

Writing fiction since elementary school and through college, he's learned critical communication abilities that are "especially valuable in physics, where complex ideas often beg for clear, concise explanation." As a filmmaker he's developed leadership and teamwork skills, which are also useful in physics research, which is "often team-based and funding-conscious."

Andrew put his training to work in 2001, undertaking a physics project on "neutron star cooling" at the University of Washington's Institute for Nuclear Theory. "I learned what relentless effort is needed to contribute a small scrap of useful knowledge to the body of science," O'Bannon says.

O'Bannon is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key Honor Society. He has been a disc jockey at a college radio station, published award-winning short stories in literary magazines and newspapers, and was editor in chief of the Johns Hopkins Film Society magazine, Frame of Reference.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation identifies young people nationwide who have shown unique overall excellence, both in academic endeavors and in extracurricular activities. The purpose of the foundation is to reward young men and women for unusual intelligence, application, deportment, and character. The first class of recipients reflects a wide diversity of interests, all aiming to be the best in their fields.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by its namesake to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman, and philanthropist who owned the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball club, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, and the Washington Redskins football team. He also owned the Chrysler Building in New York City, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and cable television stations. When Cooke died in 1997, he left most of his fortune to the foundation, which has more than $500 million in assets.

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