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Honors College senior receives Global Scholars award for project in Kenya

Justin Pile, a senior in the Honors College at WKU from Coxs Creek, recently received a Foundation for Global Scholars award that will partially fund an international experience in Kasigau, Kenya.

Justin Pile, a senior in the Honors College at WKU, received a Foundation for Global Scholars award for a project in Kenya. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

In Kenya, Pile and other members of WKU’s “Partners in Caring” program will assist physicians in operating medical clinics for the region’s inhabitants.

Pile, a biology and chemistry major, chose to participate in the program because of the practical advantages it offers to him for the future and because it presented a unique experience to gain work experience in a foreign country.

“Assisting doctors in providing medical care will equip me with basic medical skills and experience that I can use in my journey to become a physician,” he said.

While preparing his application, he worked extensively with the Office of Scholar Development and Director Audra Jennings.

“Dr. Jennings has helped me with many applications. Her dedication to helping me has brought many opportunities to my attention and now I have the ability to pursue them,” he said.

“I was absolutely delighted to learn that Justin had received a scholarship from the Foundation for Global Scholars,” Dr. Jennings said. “He came to the Office of Scholar Development with clear sense of purpose and a willingness to work hard to achieve his goals. Justin’s consummate drive for excellence and his deep commitment to service made him an outstanding investment for the Foundation for Global Scholars.”

The Foundation for Global Scholars is creating global scholars and leaders by offering assistance for students as they achieve their personal and professional goals through cultural and academic experiences around the world. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2007, more than $692,000 has been awarded to nearly 700 students who are furthering their education abroad and gaining practical experience.

“Scholarship foundations like to see that students are selecting programs that connect to their studies and goals,” Dr. Jennings said. “For Justin, the ‘Partners in Caring’ program is a perfect fit. It brings together two important elements that have shaped his undergraduate experience and professional goals: medicine and service.”

In 2008, the Office of Scholar Development (OSD) began to provide individual counseling for students applying for nationally competitive scholarships and prestigious graduate and professional programs. Since its inception, OSD has helped WKU students compete successfully for numerous national awards, including Fulbright Grants, Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarships, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships and Critical Language Scholarships.

Through assistance from OSD, students have been afforded opportunities to study abroad, conduct research, complete undergraduate and graduate degrees, and change lives.

“The expertise of the staff has served me well as I apply for various programs and I know that they will increase my chances for success,” Pile said.

About the Office of Scholar Development: OSD is committed to helping students on all WKU campuses and in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in opportunities to conduct research or gain experience abroad. For information, call (270) 745-5043 or contact Dr. Audra Jennings, audra.jennings@wku.edu.

About the Honors College at WKU: WKU is home to the only Honors College in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Created in 2007, the Honors College at WKU provides an intimate, highly selective learning environment where college-age gifted and high-achieving students can develop the skills to prepare them for success in the nation’s top academic and career opportunities. For more information, call (270) 745-2081 or contact Eileen Ryan, eileen.ryan@wku.edu.

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

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