OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- A University of Mississippi graduate student became the first Mississippian to receive a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship (KSTF) worth $175,000.
A UM student and Mooreville native, Jessica Fancher Peralta received a bachelor's degree in mathematics education and is a graduate research fellow at the UM Center for Mathematics and Science Education.
She will begin her first year of teaching this fall.
Officials say Peralta's funds from the KSTF program will be used for classroom materials, professional development, networking opportunities, travel to national conferences and more over the next five years.
In addition, Peralta will travel to conferences for professional development three times a year during the five-year fellowship to focus on content knowledge, teaching practice and leadership qualities.
Once the fellowship is complete, officials say Peralta will be named a Senior Fellow, can lead professional development sessions, can apply for select grants and can receive up to $2,000 in support to pursue national board certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
The KSTF program was founded in 2002 to attract and retain high school science, technology, engineering and math teachers who show potential to become an influential teacher leader and follow a teaching career.