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10 WKU students receive Lifetime Experience Grants

The Office of Scholar Development (OSD) has awarded 10 WKU students a total of $17,900 in Lifetime Experience Grants in the 2014-15 academic year.

The Lifetime Experience (LTE) Grant program was initially funded by a grant from the WKU Sisterhood. The awards are designed to enhance students’ competitiveness for national scholarships by supporting research, international study, creative activities, student-designed service or other scholarly activities. As a condition of their awards, recipients of LTE grants work closely with OSD staff to apply for nationally competitive scholarships relevant to their academic and professional interests and goals.

“The most successful applicants for nationally competitive awards like the Truman and Rhodes scholarships go above and beyond excellent classroom performance, developing and leading programs in their communities or abroad, completing multiple international engagement experiences, and pursuing research in their discipline,” said Dr. Audra Jennings, Director of OSD. “Our LTE program provides funding for promising projects while enhancing recipients’ competitiveness for the national scholarships that can help them accomplish their most ambitious goals.”

Strategic funding and intensive advising has paid off in recent years. Megan Skaggs, a rising fourth-year English and international affairs major from Brownsville, used her LTE grant to support her participation in a teaching internship in Guatemala in summer 2014. Skaggs’ experience helped her develop a plan for a career expanding access to education for women and girls in developing countries. This spring, Skaggs was named a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of the most prestigious nationally competitive awards for undergraduates.

Tyler Prochazka, a 2015 graduate in international affairs and Asian religions and cultures and a member of the Chinese Language Flagship Program, received an LTE grant in 2013 to fund research on Chinese and American students’ perceptions of China’s future role in the international community. Prochazka recently received a Boren Scholarship, which will fund a year of study at Tianjin Normal University beginning this fall.

The 2014-15 awardees are:

  • Cayla Baughn, a religious studies and geography/environmental studies double major from Westmoreland, Tennessee, is using her LTE grant to fund research on using mini-hoop tunnels to mitigate the effects of climate change in Huaraz, Peru.
  • Audrey Brown, a biology and chemistry double major from Alvaton, is using her LTE grant to fund participation in a DAAD Research Internship in Science and Engineering in Berlin, Germany.
  • Alexis Corbin, a geography/environmental studies and Asian religions and cultures double major from Lawrenceburg, is using her LTE grant to fund participation in a WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) as well as a short-term university course on food security in Taiwan.
  • Sarah Fox, a music and history double major from Russellville, used her LTE grant to complete a score study in New York City with renowned choral composer and conductor Alice Parker.
  • Barrett Greenwell, a political science and international affairs double major from Bardstown, used his LTE grant to conduct research on state-sanctioned homophobia in the Turkish military last spring.
  • Jarred Johnson, an English and German double major from Somerset, is using his LTE grant to fund an internship with the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement in Washington, D.C.
  • Megan Laffoon, a biology major from Louisville, will use her LTE grant to fund research on developing hugelkultur to provide food and water in karst rocky desertification in rural China.
  • David Sams, a biology major from Somerset, is using his LTE grant to conduct research on the effect of caffeine on circulatory and cardiac markers of inflammation during periods of sleep deprivation.
  • Emma Shoaf, an international affairs and Spanish double major from Lexington, is using her LTE grant to fund an internship at Cives Mundi, a Spanish-based nongovernmental organization focused on international development.
  • Svetlana Ter-Grigoryan, a graduate student in history from Bowling Green, is using her LTE grant to fund participation in the Middlebury Language Schools Intensive Russian Language Summer Program.

The WKU Sisterhood, chaired by Julie Ransdell and Kristen Miller, is an organization of women advancing WKU priorities through philanthropic engagement and a collective voice. Since 2010 the Sisterhood has held an annual competition for units and programs affiliated with WKU to receive up to $40,000 in funding for high-impact projects. The Office of Scholar Development’s LTE program was awarded the grant in Fall 2012.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The 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. OSD staff welcome the opportunity to speak with students about nationally-competitive scholarships.

Contact: Melinda Grimsley-Smith, (270) 745-5043.

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