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42 WKU students earn prestigious scholarships in 2014-15

WKU students continued to perform at a high level in the nation’s most prestigious scholarship competitions in 2014-15, according to a report presented Friday (July 24) to the Board of Regents.

Of the more than 120 WKU students who applied, 42 earned recognition and earned more than $577,500 in funding, with a few students waiting for final results, said Dr. Audra Jennings, Director of the Office of Scholar Development. (More: List of 2014-2015 WKU Nationally Competitive Scholarship Winners)

“We are very proud of all of the students who submitted national scholarship applications this year. These students worked hard and benefited from the university’s commitment to internationalization, undergraduate research, and community engagement,” Dr. Jennings said. “Our students’ faculty mentors and the OSD staff call on them to dream big, and we are finding that our students are increasingly eager to answer that call.”

For the first time, WKU had two of its Truman Scholarship nominees selected as finalists. The Truman Scholarship, which awards $30,000 for graduate school, is the nation’s highest honor for undergraduates dedicated to careers in public service.

It was another outstanding year for WKU’s Fulbright applicants with seven students recognized in some of the most competitive circumstances. They include the sole English Teaching Assistant chosen for Croatia out of 34 applicants nationwide, the sole grantee chosen to study at University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and one of the two English Teaching Assistants selected for Malta from 23 applicants nationwide.

For the first time, two WKU students were selected for Boren Scholarships funded by the National Security Education Program. An additional four students won Department of State-funded Critical Language Scholarships for intensive language study in China. An all-time high of four Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science students earned National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarships to study language and culture in Moldova, Morocco, and South Korea.

Fourteen Hilltoppers earned Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to fund study abroad. The combined value of $48,500 allows these students to pursue academic, internship and student teaching experiences in Italy, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, India, Jordan, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Tanzania.

All four of WKU’s nominees for the Goldwater Scholarship were recognized as winners or honorable mentions again this year. The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship for undergraduates aiming for careers in scientific research. In addition, two recent WKU graduates earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, awards that provide annual stipends and tuition support for up to three years of graduate study in the sciences and social sciences.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students 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 nationally competitive scholarships.

Contact: Audra Jennings, (270) 745-5043

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