Campus Life

Former Sen. Phil Gramm Presents Awards To Doctoral Students At Texas A&M

April 7, 2017

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Former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, also a former Texas A&M professor, presented eight Texas A&M students with scholarships to support their research efforts.
By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Marketing and Communications

Citing his long affinity for graduate students and the role they have at a major university, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm presented eight Texas A&M University doctoral students with the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Awards during a ceremony Thursday on campus.

The awards, each for $5,000, will support the research efforts of the students as they pursue their doctoral degrees.

The awards are named for Phil Gramm, who earned his doctorate from the University of Georgia and served as an economics professor at Texas A&M for 12 years before embarking on a highly successful political career — first serving as a U.S. Congressman from Texas in 1978.  In 1984, he was elected to serve in the U.S. Senate, and he went on to spend 24 years in Congress, working on numerous budgetary, welfare and homeland security reforms.

“It was 50 years ago that I got my Ph.D and headed here to the campus of Texas A&M,” Gramm said.

“I taught economics here and I loved every second of it.  When my son got his doctorate, I told him if you truly care about the students you teach, they will discover more and learn more, and you will love it.

“It’s not unusual for students to still come up to me and say, ‘you changed my life.’ That means the world to me,” Gramm added.  “I would not trade the 12 years I taught here at Texas A&M for anything.”

Gramm authored numerous articles and books while at Texas A&M ranging from monetary theory to mineral extraction economics.

Currently, he is senior adviser to U.S. Policy Metrics, an economic and public policy research firm in Washington, D.C.  He is married to Wendy Lee Gramm, a former member of The Texas A&M System Board of Regents and former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Presidents Reagan and Bush.  They have two sons, Marshall, Texas A&M Class of 2000, and Jeff.

The awards were presented by Karen Butler-Purry, associate provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, and Rosana Moreira, assistant provost for Graduate and Professional Studies.

Gramm meets with the eight winning students.
Gramm meets with the eight winning students.

The award winners include:

  • Jake Carrow, a biomedical engineering major in the College of Engineering who is investigating new materials to regenerate cartilage and treat osteoarthritis.
  • Meagan Elinski, a chemistry major in the College of Science who is researching the nanoscopic roughness on graphene.
  • Joseph Harrison, a management major in the Mays Business School who is researching the social and psychological aspects of top executive teams and corporate boards and how these affect outcomes for those individuals and their business firms.
  • Robert Hinck, a communication major in the College of Liberal Arts who is studying the role of media, narratives and argumentation strategies and organizational communication in international relations and political debates.
  • Shannon Kelley, a psychology major in the College of Liberal Arts who is investigating personality psychopathy among offenders and predicting recidivism, institutional misconduct and treatment outcomes.
  • Corinne Metzger, a health and kinesiology major in the College of Education and Human Development who is studying the impact of energy restriction, disuse and exercise on skeletal integrity.
  • Kristen Hicks, a nutrition and food science major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences whose focus is nutrition and continuing medical education for practicing physicians, emphasizing the role of the healthcare team and educating physicians to practice with a preventive medicine approach.
  • Anna Marie Christianson, a chemistry major in the College of Science whose work focuses on the improvement of photophysical properties in antimony-and phosphorus-based chromophores and fluorophores as chemical sensors.


Media contact: Peggy Samson, Office of the Provost, (979) 845-6366 or  or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or

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