Minority doctoral students got a boost this past weekend when the KPMG Foundation granted thousands of dollars in scholarships for the upcoming academic year.

Thirty-nine minority doctoral students received $390,000 in scholarships for the 2009-2010 school year. Of the awards, eight are to new recipients scheduled to begin their accounting doctoral program this fall, three are to new recipients who have already begun programs and 28 are renewals of scholarships previously awarded.

The gifts mark the 15th anniversary of its Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship program. The program aims to further increase the completion rate among African-American, Hispanic-American and Native American doctoral students in accounting.

Each of the scholarships is valued at $10,000 and renewable annually for a total of five years. The Foundation established the scholarship program in 1994 as part of its efforts to increase the number of minority students and professors in business schools - and has since awarded $8.7 million to minorities pursuing doctorate degrees.

This year’s new recipients are:

•    Elio Alfonso, Louisiana State University
•    Dereck Barr, University of Mississippi
•    Cathalene Bowler, Morgan State University
•    Elicia Cowins, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
•    Paige Gee, Temple University
•    Aisha Meeks,  Jackson State University
•    Wayne Nelms, Morgan State University
•    Genese Rogers, Morgan State University
•    Menghistu Sallehu, Drexel University
•     John Williams, University of North Texas
•    Reginald Wilson, Jackson State University