Forensic Science graduate student receives prestigious scientific scholarship award from the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation


DavidPrestonMillerDavid Preston Miller, a  Forensic Science graduate student from Dallas, Texas, is the first student from Marshall to receive a prestigious, nationally recognized scientific scholarship award from the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation.

Miller was presented with a check for the $25,000 scientific scholarship last Friday at the Forensic Science Center by William D. Branon, chairman of the board and director of the J. Edgar Hoover Scholarship Foundation.

Branon said Miller was a very strong candidate for the scholarship with a very impressive background. Along with his achievements of academic excellence and dedication to his interest in forensic science, he demonstrated strong character, professionalism and motivation.

President Stephen J. Kopp said the Forensic Science Graduate Program has had many firsts, and Dr. Terry W. Fenger and the faculty have done an outstanding job developing the nationally recognized program that produces graduates who go on to fill leadership roles in the field.  “When you think forensic science, and you think forensic science excellence, it’s Marshall University that comes to people’s minds immediately,” he said. “It’s a real source of pride for us.”

“Marshall University is honored to have the distinction to be among the educational institutions to have a student as a recipient of this very prestigious national award,” Kopp said. “We at Marshall are very proud of Preston Miller for being selected as the recipient of this year’s scientific scholarship from the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation.”

Miller is the 14th recipient of the award.  He received his B.A. in biochemistry at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. At Marshall, his areas of concentration in forensic science are digital forensics and crime scene investigation.

He said he chose to attend Marshall because of the Forensic Science Graduate Program’s high rankings and flexible curriculum. “Additionally, its unique relationship with the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) permitting graduate students to work in the WVSP Digital Forensics Unit was a deciding factor,” he said. Miller has been a graduate assistant providing technical support for the unit since he started his studies at Marshall.

Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of the Forensic Science Center, said the quality of the curriculum at Marshall attracts students with high levels of credentials. “Preston is a shining example for other students,” he said.

Branon said the foundation awards only one full scientific scholarship each year to a candidate who is interested in pursuing a forensic science-related career in law enforcement.

Prior winners of the scientific scholarship have been from Ohio University, the University of New Haven, Michigan State University, Saint John’s University, the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, California State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Georgia, George Washington University (two recipients), Columbia University, Stetson University and the University of Maryland.

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Photo: William D. Branon, right, congratulates David Preston Miller after presenting Miller, a student in the Forensic Science Graduate Program, with a prestigious scientific scholarship award of $25,000 from the J. Edgar Hoover Scholarship Foundation  during a ceremony held last week at the Forensic Science Center. Photo by Braxton Crisp/Marshall University.