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Record number of WKU students, recent graduates earn national scholarships

A record number of WKU students and recent graduates were recognized in prestigious national scholarship competitions in 2012-13.

To date, 31 WKU students and recent graduates were successful in competitions such as the Harry S. Truman, George J. Mitchell, Barry Goldwater and Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship programs. Several students are under consideration in competitions that have yet to announce results.

“The quality and growing quantity of these national and international awards earned by WKU students is both impressive and encouraging,” WKU President Gary Ransdell said. “Such success is a tribute to the rising academic strength at WKU, which is made possible by a superb faculty and Kentucky’s most gifted college students.”

Dr. Ransdell congratulated the award winners, “who will now extend WKU’s international reach as they study and conduct research across the globe.  I also want to thank our faculty for serving as mentors and role models for these incredible students, and to the staff in the Office of Scholar Development for helping them identify the best awards and compete successfully for them.”

WKU students earned an all-time high of 13 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to fund study abroad. The combined value of $44,500 allows these students to pursue academic experiences in Argentina, Costa Rica, South Africa, Tanzania, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Jordan, China and Japan.

WKU students also won a record four Critical Language Scholarships. The program, sponsored by the Department of State, fully funds 10 weeks of intensive critical language study abroad. All four WKU recipients are members of the Chinese Language Flagship Pilot Program and are studying in Suzhou and Qingdao this summer.

WKU continues to be a strong producer of national scholarship success in the sciences.  Barry Goldwater Scholarships are the most prestigious awards for undergraduates in science, engineering and mathematics. WKU’s performance ranks in the top 80th percentile of universities receiving Goldwater recognition.

May 2013 graduate Kelsey Mattingly has become WKU’s first Fulbright Student Grantee to the United Kingdom. She will study for a Master’s degree in Art History at the University of East Anglia. Fellow graduate Ameliah Given was chosen as an alternate for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Israel. Fulbright grants to the United Kingdom and Israel are among the most competitive in the world.

Office of Scholar Development (OSD) staff work with students and their faculty mentors to recruit and help students develop competitive applications.

“This has been a great year, and we are extremely proud of each of the more than 100 students who worked incredibly hard to submit applications for the nation’s most competitive scholarships,” Dr. Audra Jennings, director of the OSD, said. “We have every expectation that these students will accomplish amazing things.”

The following is a list of WKU’s nationally competitive scholarship winners for 2012-13:

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Three WKU students have been recognized in the Goldwater scholarship competition. From left are Hillary Asberry, David Brown and Sam Saarinen.

From left: Hillary Asberry, David Brown and Sam Saarinen.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program recognizes distinction in the sciences and encourages talented students to pursue research careers. The award provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to sophomores and juniors.

  • Hillary Asberry (Chemistry, Honors College, Lancaster, Ky.)—Winner
  • David Brown (Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, Central City, Ky.)—Winner
  • Samuel Saarinen, (Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, Shelbyville, Ky.)—Honorable Mention

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are Pell Grant eligible to pursue academic studies abroad.

  • Andrea Ayoroa (Exercise Science, Lexington, Ky.)—Argentina
  • Allyson Beasecker (English, News/Editorial Journalism, San Diego, Calif.)
  • Haley Edwards (English, Buffalo, Ky.)—Jordan
  • Hayley Hilbert (International Affairs, Honors College, Louisville, Ky.)—United Kingdom
  • Natalie Koppel (Marketing and Sales, Honors College, Louisville, Ky.)—South Africa
  • Christina Paige (Communication Studies, Asian Religions and Cultures, Fayetteville, N.C.)—Japan
  • Trevor Peden (Biology, Glasgow, Ky.)—Japan
  • Timothy Phelps (English for Secondary Teachers, Shepherdsville, Ky.)—Germany
  • Tyler Prochazka (International Affairs, Asian Religions and Cultures, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Newton, Kan.)—China
  • Robert Pugh (Finance, Bowling Green, Ky.)—Belgium
  • Margot Schenning (Elementary Education, Honors College, Lexington, Ky.)—United Kingdom
  • Byron Turner (Political Science, Bowling Green, Ky.)—Tanzania
  • Makka Wheeler (Nursing, Honors College, Guthrie, Ky.)—Costa Rica

Boren Scholarship for International Study

J.P. Stovall

J.P. Stovall

Boren Awards are funded by the National Security Education Program and provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.

  • J.P. Stovall (Spanish, International Affairs, Asian Religions and Cultures, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Nashville, Tenn.)—China

Critical Language Scholarship

Four Chinese Flagship students have received Critical Language Scholarships. From left are:

From left: Jessica Brumley, Hannah Garland, Cody Hutchins and Alexandra “Dare” Norman.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Critical Language Scholarship provides 7-10 weeks of intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences abroad.

  • Jessica Brumley (English for Secondary Education, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Lawrenceburg, Ky.)—Chinese
  • Hannah Garland (International Affairs, Asian Religions and Cultures, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Somerset, Ky.)—Chinese
  • Cody Hutchins (International Business, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Louisville, Ky.)—Chinese
  • Alexandra “Dare” Norman (Music Theatre, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Bowling Green, Ky.)—Chinese

Fulbright Grants

Kelsey Mattingly

Kelsey Mattingly

The Fulbright Program awarded approximately 6,000 grants in 2010 to U.S. students, teachers, professionals and scholars to study, teach, lecture and conduct research in more than 155 countries, and to their foreign counterparts to engage in similar activities in the United States. Benefits for research grants and English teaching assistantships include round-trip transportation and maintenance for the academic year. Recipients of research grants may also be eligible to receive funds for books, research allowances, full or partial tuition, and language study programs.

  • Kelsey Mattingly (2013 Graduate in Art History, Sociology, Honors College, Louisville, Ky.)—Study Grant to United Kingdom
  • Ameliah Given (2013 Graduate in English for Secondary Teachers, Honors College, Bowling Green, Ky.)—Alternate, English Teaching Assistantship to Israel

George Mitchell Scholarship

cory dodds

Cory Dodds

Awarded on the basis of scholarship, leadership, and a sustained commitment to community and public service, the Mitchell Scholarship allows exceptional American university graduates to study for a postgraduate degree at a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

  • Cory Dodds (2013 Graduate in Political Science, Honors College, Smithland, Ky.)—Finalist

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

sarah schrader

Sarah Schrader

Open to juniors dedicated to a career in public service, the highly competitive Truman Scholarship recognizes service and leadership and provides up to $30,000 in funding for graduate education.

  • Sarah Schrader (Biology, Chemistry, Honors College, Chinese Flagship, Bowling Green, Ky.)—Finalist

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

Shelby Rader

Shelby Rader

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides an annual stipend and tuition support for up to three years of graduate study in the sciences and social sciences.

  • Shelby Rader (2012 Graduate in Geology, Chemistry, Honors College, Irvine, Ky.)—Geochemistry
  • Amanda Smelser (2010 Graduate in Biochemistry, Lancaster, Pa.)—Molecular and Cell Biosciences
  • Schuyler Wolff (2011 Graduate in Physics, Honors College, Hamilton, Ind.)—Astronomy and Astrophysics

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

Grace Babbs

Grace Babbs

NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships to U.S. high school students interested in learning less-commonly studied foreign languages. This scholarship covers all program costs for six weeks of intensive study abroad, including travel to the applicant’s destination, tuition, housing and activities.

  • Grace Babbs (Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, Paducah, Ky.)—Arabic

Princeton in Asia

mario nguyen

Mario Nguyen

Princeton in Asia (PiA) provides service-oriented experiences for highly qualified students while serving the needs of various regions throughout the continent. In 2010, the program sent 165 fellows to serve in 18 Asian countries. A majority of these fellows teach English at high schools and universities.

  • Mario Nguyen (2012 Graduate in Public Relations, Dallas, Texas)—Manila, Philippines

US-UK Fulbright Summer Institutes

Meghan McGuirk

Meghan McGuirk

The highly competitive Summer Institutes provide full scholarships for American freshmen and sophomores to go to the United Kingdom on a three- to six-week academic and cultural summer program.

  • Meghan McGuirk (Political Science, Honors College, Glasgow, Ky.)—Scotland Summer Institute

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development (OSD) works with students and their mentors to build research and creative agendas, helps students identify appropriate national and international scholarship opportunities, and provides intensive writing support throughout the application process. For information, visit www.wku.edu/osd and follow @WKU_OSD on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WKU.OSD.

Contact: Audra Jennings, (270) 745-5043.

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