Engineering student receives SMART Scholarship from U.S. Department of Defense

headshot of abigail maddox
Abigail Maddox

MACON — Mercer University School of Engineering freshman Abigail Maddox was recently awarded the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship by the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Maddox, a mechanical engineering major, will receive full tuition, a stipend and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. She also will participate in a summer research internship and be paired with a mentor at one of the scholarship program’s sponsoring facilities. 

“The SMART Scholarship is highly prestigious and competitive,” said Dr. Laura Lackey, dean of the School of Engineering. “I’m so proud of and happy for Abigail for being selected. Her hard work in the classroom has earned her this fabulous opportunity.” 

Maddox, from Bonaire, plans to work at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base after graduation. 

“I am very excited to have this amazing opportunity. Being a SMART Scholar will relieve the financial burden of college, allowing me to focus on my studies,” she said. “I look forward to gaining undergraduate engineering experience with the internship and the mentorship it can provide. Also, having the security of a job after graduation is encouraging.” 

At Mercer, Maddox has been named to the President’s List and is active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries student club. This summer, she will participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to South Korea.  

The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program was established as a concentrated effort to enhance the Department of Defense workforce with talented, innovative and brilliant scientists, engineers and researchers. For more than a decade, SMART Scholars have been working within labs and agencies of the Army, Navy, Air Force and additional Department of Defense units to support the warfighter and create an impact to secure the nation. 

About the School of Engineering 

Mercer University’s School of Engineering, founded in 1985, offers innovative and academically challenging programs that provide students with a comprehensive education, featuring a solid foundation in mathematics and sciences, a core engineering curriculum, a range of courses in engineering specialties and a strong emphasis on communication technologies. The School is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top three master’s-degree-level engineering schools in the Southeast. Known for its breadth of instruction in its undergraduate program and its five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program, the School combines technical education with hands-on laboratory experience. Mercer engineers can look forward to joining fellow alumni in companies such as Robins Air Force Base, Mercer Engineering Research Center, Northrop Grumman, Georgia Power, Manhattan Associates and Gulfstream Aerospace. For more information, visit

Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.