Student Granted Fellowship at T. Rowe Price

Mathematics major Johnny Jesson begins after graduation

By: Becky St. Clair

Jesson will graduate in June and shortly thereafter begin a high-caliber fellowship at T. Rowe Price.

Johnny Jesson, senior mathematics major, was recently awarded a two-year fellowship at T. Rowe Price.  Those qualified for this fellowship program must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement by a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.  Applicants are also expected to have strong technical problem-solving skills, as well as a mastery of a computer programming environment.  

In October, Jesson spent an entire day going between seven different interviews on-site in Baltimore, Md.  

“The first question just about everyone asked me was, ‘Where and what is Walla Walla?’” Jesson recalls with a laugh. Most of the over 200 applicants came from MIT, Stanford, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, and other top rated schools across the nation. 

Jesson was also given the opportunity to have lunch with the program director. 

“She said that something told her not to ignore me,” says Jesson.  “So she looked up WWU and discovered that it was a good school.  That’s when she decided to give me a chance.”

T. Rowe Price called Jesson within a week of the interviews.  Though they had initially planned to hire 4-6 applicants, the worsening economy would only allow them to select two.  Therefore the decision date was pushed past Thanksgiving, and the competition got even more intense.

On December 18, Jesson was offered the fellowship.

“I cannot say how excited I am,” says Jesson.  “And I owe a lot of it to the best math department in the country.  Nowhere else will you find professors as committed and interested in the success of their students as they are here at WWU.”

Jesson begins his fellowship at the end of June, following his graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics, and a minor in economics.

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