Scholarship News

Senior recieves NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Junior wins Critical Language Scholarship
Sophomore recieves Gilman Scholarship for study in Spain
Critical Language Scholarship finalists announced

Fulbright finalists announced

Junior to study in Australia with Gilman Scholarship
Junior wins King Family Foundation Scholarship

Two students selected for U.K. Fulbright Summer Institute

Two students receive Gilman Scholarship for summer internships abroad

Graduating seniors and alumna receive Fulbright Student Grants

Udall Scholarship winner named

Landscape architecture student wins Boren Scholarship to Brazil

Hollings Scholarship winner and finalist announced

Two juniors awarded Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention


March 2017: March 2017:  Senior Ellen Wagner has been named a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship!  The fellowship will provide her with a total of $138,000 of support during her Ph.D. studies in cell and molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, beginning this fall.

Ellen – a Hamilton, Ohio, native – is an Honors College student who has a major in biology, with concentrations in microbiology and genetics, as well as a minor in chemistry.  She has conducted extensive research under the mentorship of Dr. John McKillip and Dr. Doug Bernstein, in Ball State’s Department of Biology, and she undertook a research internship at MIT last summer.  

Ellen currently serves as president of Ball State’s American Society of Microbiology student chapter, and she has been an editor of Fine Focus, an international research journal that showcases undergraduate research in microbiology.  In her junior year she was awarded Honorable Mention in the national Goldwater Scholarship competition.

“Receiving this fellowship is an honor and an amazing way to end my four years at Ball State,” said Ellen, “but I think this is more of a testament to the great mentorship I have received while here. I have learned and gained so many skills by working directly with my professors, and that has made me more prepared for my future.”

Ellen is only the third Ball State student ever to receive this honor while an undergraduate, and she is only the second BSU recipient to accept the fellowship.  Seven BSU alumni have received the fellowship while enrolled at their graduate institutions.

Amie Baker Frank, a 2015 graduate of Ball State, received Honorable Mention in this year’s NSF Graduate Research Fellowship competition.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in organic chemistry at the University of Michigan.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.  It has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers, helping them become life-long leaders who contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.  

Currently, 2,000 fellows are selected each year.  For more information, visit www.nsfgrfp.org.



Bre MyersMarch 2017:  Junior Breanna Myers has been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship, which will provide two months of beginning Swahili study in Tanzania this summer!  Bre, who is both an anthropology major and Honors College student, intends to pursue a career as a primatologist, focusing her future career on gorilla research in East Africa. 

“Ultimately,” she said, “I want to work with programs like the Great Ape Foundation, which hires individuals with knowledge of local languages and traditions. Studying Swahili through the CLS program will help me invest in the skills needed to meet my goals.”  Bre leaves for Arusha, Tanzania, in mid-June.

The Critical Language Scholarship is a State Department program that facilitates two months of intensive summer language study in 14 languages considered critical to U.S. national security. 

Haley Crane, a senior majoring in English education, was also named an alternate for the beginning Korean program.


Jessica BeaverFebruary 2017Jessica Beaver, a sophomore in the Honors College, has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for study in Spain this summer.  She has majors in Spanish and psychology, as well as a minor in interpersonal relations.

Jessi will spend a month in Segovia, where she will study conversational Spanish and Spanish cinema.  Her program also includes a homestay and excursions to Madrid, Toledo, and other cities. 

“Expanding my fluency in the Spanish language and immersing myself in a new culture will help me to better understand the diverse group of people that I plan on working with later on in life,” said Jessi, who intends to become a psychologist and work with Spanish-speaking immigrants.

All Gilmam Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-on service project after their return to the U.S.  Jessi plans to give a presentation to Active Minds, a campus organization that helps fight the stigma of mental illness.  Her goal will be “to help students realize that a mental illness should not stop someone from studying abroad.”

The federally-funded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students pursuing academic studies abroad, in order to better prepare them to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.  


January 2017: The following BSU students have been named semi-finalists for the Critical Language Scholarship:

  • Haley Crane, a senior in English education, for the beginning Korean program
  • Bre Myers, a junior in anthropology, for the beginning Swahili program

The Critical Language Scholarship is a federally sponsored program that allows students to undergo two months of intensive language training abroad in one of 14 languages considered “critical” to U.S. international interests. 

Final decisions about semi-finalists’ status will be announced in late February.  Congratulations and good luck to Bre and Haley!


January 2017:  Congratulations to the following five seniors, who’ve made it to the finalist round for the U.S. Student Fulbright program!

  • Haley Crane, for graduate study at the University of Leicester in the UK
  • Lauren Donahue, for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Germany
  • George Hickman, for an ETA in Greece
  • Marco Leon, for an ETA in Luxembourg
  • Arlesha Moore, for graduate study at the University of Leicester in the UK

Finalists’ applications will now be considered by review committees in their intended host countries.  Final decisions about recipients will be made and announced in the spring.


November 2016:  Catherine Hunley, a junior in the Honors College, has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman ScholarshCatherine Hunley photoip to support study at Deakin University near Melbourne, Australia, during spring semester. With a major in architecture and minor in interior design, Catherine will take architecture courses and conduct an independent study at Deakin University, while also exploring Australian culture and the ways in which “design has influenced Aussies’ way of life.”

Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-on project that helps promote international education and understanding.  For her three-part project, Catherine intends to document her time abroad through a blog; give presentations to two campus organizations, Epsilon Sigma Alpha and Emerging Green Builders; and contribute photos of her Australian experience to Glue, a student publication of the College of Architecture and Planning.

“It is especially exciting as an architecture student to be able to immerse myself in a foreign environment and culture, interacting with locals and other international students,” said Catherine, who departs for Australia in February.
Follow Catherine’s adventures in Australia through her blog, at https://chunley.wixsite.com/visblog-downunder.  

The federally-funded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program supports U.S. undergraduate students pursuing academic studies abroad, in order to better prepare them to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. 


Tina Maric photoJuly 2016Tina Maric, a junior with majors in telecommunications, journalism, and Spanish, has been awarded a Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. The scholarship is given to juniors and seniors in television, film, and related fields and who demonstrate academic ability and professional potential.

Tina’s career goal is to work in the television entertainment industry, eventually hosting her own show. At Ball State she has been a segment producer for the Reel Deal, an entertainment news show, and she cohosts a show on the campus radio station that features international music and culture. This summer she has completed a journalism internship in Madrid, Spain.

“Being awarded this scholarship is an honor for me,” said Tina of her King Family Foundation award. “It makes me feel like the work I’ve been doing at Ball State has paid off and that when I set my mind on a goal, I can achieve it.”

As a junior-year recipient, Tina will be eligible to receive the scholarship again during her senior year.  She is the second Ball State student to receive the King Family Foundation Scholarship


June 2016: Two BSU students have been selected to participate in the 2016 U.K. Fulbright Summer Institutes program. They were among approximately 60 freshmen and sophomores chosen nationwide for full scholarships to nine summer institutes.


Meredith Dickerson photoMeredith Dickerson, who recently completed her freshman year, has been selected to participate in the Summer Institute at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), in Northern Ireland. Meredith, who hails from Columbus, Ind., is an Honors College student with majors in English and pre-law.

In the four-week QUB Institute, Meredith will learn about Northern Ireland’s political, economic and cultural relationships within the United Kingdom and in the world, with a special focus on conflict transformation, under the tutelage of world leaders in that field.

After completing her degree at Ball State, Meredith plans to go to law school and pursue a career in international human rights law. “I see the opportunity to study conflict resolution at Queen’s University in Belfast as experience that will benefit my professional career” and “as an opportunity to be immersed in a culture that I’ve only learned about in classes,” she said.

Aaron Stangarone photoAaron Stangarone, who just completed his sophomore year as a musical theatre major, has been selected for the Summer Institute at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

The three-week Globe Theatre Institute is a cultural and academic program that focuses on both acting and understanding Shakespeare texts. Aaron will explore the historical and current value of Shakespeare’s plays and the unique relationship between actors and audience created by the Globe itself.

He will also participate in workshops on combat and sword play, movement, dance, and design, and he’ll watch professional performances at the Globe and take part in a question and answer session with Globe actors.

“I’m excited to go to London and see the differences between the theatre world of the Globe and the West End and that of the New York theatre scene,” said Aaron, who is from Chattanooga, Tenn. “I hope to find ways that Shakespeare and British theatre can influence the American musical theatre.”

One of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide, the U.K. Fulbright Summer Institute is a program of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission.

Through a rigorous application and interview process, Summer Institute participants are selected for their academic excellence and potential as future leaders who will support the commission’s goal of fostering mutual cultural understanding between the U.S. and the U.K.

Since 2011, nine BSU students have been selected for U.K. Fulbright Summer Institutes.


May 2016: Two students have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships, to support summer internships abroad. 

Erika Smith photoErika Smith, from New Castle, Ind., has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to Ecuador, to support a two-month internship in human resources at the city hall of Otavalo.  She is a senior at Ball State, where she has majors in both international business and human resources, with a minor in Spanish.  Her career goal is to work in international commerce in a Spanish-speaking culture.

“This trip will be a personal triumph in my journey of mastering the Spanish language,” said Erika.  “It will enable me to progress in my academic program, specifically in the context of global human resource management.”

Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-on project that helps promote international understanding.  Erika’s project will be to give presentations about her Ecuador experience at Anderson (Ind.) High School, her alma mater.

Leslie_ThomasLeslie Thomas, of Oak Park, Ill., will be interning for two months in South Africa. With a major in communication studies and minor in organizational communication, Leslie will be a digital marketing intern at Biltong Board, a gourmet food processing and distribution company.

For his follow-on project, he will create and conduct a role-playing game for several BSU organizations, asking students to respond to cultural and ethical dilemmas they might encounter in South Africa.

“Receiving this scholarship will give me an opportunity to demonstrate my intercultural competence in a globalized environment,” said Leslie, who just completed his junior year.

The federally-funded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students pursuing academic studies abroad, in order to better prepare them to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.


May 2016: Three graduating seniors and a 2015 graduate have received Fulbright U.S. Student Grants to support teaching opportunities in Argentina, Germany, Mexico, and Taiwan during the 2016-17 academic year. Of Ball State’s six finalists this year, one was also named an alternate to Singapore and another was a finalist to the United Kingdom.

The Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and is intended to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and those of more than 150 countries. In 2016 the department awarded approximately 1,900 grants to U.S. students and recent graduates.

Charelle Brown, a graduating senior and Honors College student from Kenosha, Wisc., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina, beginning in March 2017. Charelle_Brown

In Argentina, Charelle – who has a major in elementary education with a minor in Spanish – will help teach English to students at the university level. Outside of the classroom, she plans to volunteer at a community center that works with children from underserved areas.

After her Fulbright year, Charelle intends to launch her career as an elementary education teacher in the U.S. “Immersing myself in Argentine culture will allow me to use my skills to aid university language learners and children in Argentina, while also equipping me to better teach and relate to my future bilingual students in the U.S.,” she said.

Elizabeth BrownElizabeth Brown, from Michigan City, Ind., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany, beginning in September. Elizabeth – a graduating senior and Honors College student – is a Japanese education major with minors in German and English as a Second Language. She hopes to be placed in a high school, so that she can not only help teach English but also start an after-school English language book club.

“Having this opportunity to teach in Germany is a wonderful start to my career as a world language teacher,” said Elizabeth. “Not only will I gain experience in a classroom, but I will also be able to develop my German language skills and be immersed in the culture.”

After her Fulbright year, Elizabeth intends to gain even more international experience in teaching ESL before returning to the U.S. to teach Japanese and German at the high school level.

Lauren Fosnight, a 2015 graduate, has been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico, beginning in September. As a BSU Honors College student, Lauren had majors in Spanish and philosophy, along with minors in theatre, economics, and business. She is currently teaching English as a Second Language in Ecuador.Lauren_Fosnight

In addition to teaching English at the high school or university level in Mexico, the Indianapolis native also plans to teach swing dance and to learn traditional Mexican dances.
“After four years of dreaming about the Fulbright program, I look forward to learning more about the Mexican education system, developing my teaching abilities, and immersing myself in my Mexican host community by teaching swing dance lessons,” said Lauren.

After her Fulbright year, Lauren intends to enroll in a Ph.D. program in international education and eventually work with a not-for-profit organization or NGO that improves educational opportunities for Latino families.

Elizabeth_KingElizabeth King – an M.A. student in English, with a focus on linguistics – has been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan, where she will be placed in an elementary or middle school.

Elizabeth studied in China as an undergraduate, then worked there as a kindergarten teacher for a year. “Fulbright emphasizes that those given grants are ambassadors to wherever they go, and I see myself that way – a U.S.-born-and-raised young woman given the opportunity to work with integrity in an increasingly globalized world,” said the Marion, Ind., resident.

During her 11 months in Taiwan, Elizabeth also plans to organize a creative writing group. Afterward she wants to remain in the country in order to enroll in a Mandarin language program, then seek employment in Taiwan as an English teacher or in the U.S., working with international students. Eventually, she will pursue a Ph.D. in linguistics.

Jesse Taskovic, a Japanese major from Munster, Ind., is an alternate for a Fulbright Grant to undertake research on bilingualism and multilingualism in Singapore. Jesse_Taskovic

Shay_StewartShay Stewart, a theatre major from Holland, Mich., was named a finalist for a Fulbright Grant to undertake graduate study in the United Kingdom.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. 


April 2016: Leslie Adriance, of Paw Paw, Mich., is one of 60 students to be named a 2016 Udall Scholar. She is the tenth Ball State student in eleven years to receive the $7,000 scholarship, considered the nation’s most important scholarship for undergraduates who are committed to environmental issues or Native American policy or healthcare.Leslie_Adriance

With a major in architecture and a minor in environmental policy, Leslie intends to focus her career on green technology, environmentally responsive design, and policies governing the environmental impact of construction and development. She is especially passionate about reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide production in buildings, and she dreams of a future with stricter building codes that address energy, waste, water, and materials.

At Ball State, Leslie has served as media chair, as secretary, and this year as vice president of Emerging Green Builders. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and in 2014 she volunteered with Kids Alive in Guatemala.

“It’s really exciting for me to have the opportunity to discuss the crucial role that architecture has in the environment,” Leslie said of her award, which will take her to Tucson, Arizona, this summer for Scholars Week. “I feel honored to be a Udall Scholar and join a network of people as committed and passionate about changing the future of the environment as I am.”

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to the environment or American Indian nations.


April 2016: Emily Meer, a third-year student in Ball State’s landscape architecture program, has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study and intern in Brazil from January to June 2017. She is only the second student in Ball State’s history to win the scholarship.

Emily_MeerAn Honors College student who also has a minor in urban planning and development, Emily will travel to Brazil in January 2017 to undertake a two-month internship under the supervision of the Ecodesign Coordinator of the Industrial Federation of Paraná in Curitiba. For the following four months, she will attend classes at Pontifícia Universidade Católica Do Rio Grande Do Sul.

During her entire six-month stay in Brazil, Emily’s studies will include Portuguese and natural resource development and conservation, focusing on water resources. Her long-term career goal is to work for USAID in Brazil, to help mitigate global climate change and water shortages.

“I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to continue a learning experience I began last summer,” said Emily, a resident of Batesville, Ind. While in Brazil in 2015, she studied sustainable infrastructure and its role in solving the country’s water crisis. Through her upcoming internship and studies in Brazil, Emily said that she expects to return to the U.S. “with valuable skills that will forever influence [her] life as a designer.”

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative that enables U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to acquire language skills and cultural knowledge in countries considered critical to the future security and stability of our nation.

This year, 820 undergraduates applied for the Boren Scholarship, and 165 were awarded. In exchange for funding – up to $20,000 for undergraduate scholarship recipients – Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least one year.Christina_Thibodeau

Another Ball State student – Christina Thibodeau, a sophomore Medallion Scholar in International Development and Relations – was named an alternate for the Boren Scholarship to study in Morocco.


April 2016: Amanda Kedzierski, a sophomore majoring in meteorology in the Geography Department, has won the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship!

An initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hollings Scholarship is given to students who intend to pursue careers in oceanic and atmospheric science. Amanda will receive up to $9,500 per year during her junior and senior years, as well as a paid 10-week summer internship at a NOAA facility.Amanda_Kedzierski

“I am incredibly excited to be able to share this experience and passion for the field of meteorology with other young and bright weather enthusiasts,” she said. Amanda, who hails from Irwin, Penn., is a member of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team at Ball State.

Through her meteorology major and telecommunications minor, as well as related extracurricular experiences, Amanda is exploring the possibility of becoming a research meteorologist at a facility like the National Weather Service or becoming a broadcast meteorologist for a TV news station.
After completing her bachelor’s degree, she intends to enter a master’s degree program in meteorology and pursue her research interests in the dissemination of severe weather warnings.

Amanda is among 125 sophomores nationwide to receive the Hollings Scholarship this year and is only the third BSU student ever to receive the scholarship.

Another Ball State sophomore, Taylorann Smith—a biology major with a concentration in aquatic biology and fisheries—was also a finalist.


April 2016:  Two Ball State juniors have been awarded Honorable Mention in the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship competition, which recognizes sophomores and juniors who plan to enter research-focused careers in science, mathematics, and engineering.

Daniel Smith, from Yorktown, Ind., is a junior majoring in biochemistry.  After graduating from Ball State in 2017, he intends to earn an M.D./Ph.D. and embark on a career focused on neuroscience research, with a focus on diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to ailments that cause memory loss.Daniel_Smith

As an undergraduate, Daniel has gained extensive experience at the Center for Medical Education (Muncie), where he has examined the role of glycogen in neurological function and the relationship between hypoglycemia and memory loss in mice.

Daniel said of his Goldwater Honorable Mention: “I believe it is a reflection of the amazing scientific mentorship I’ve been blessed to have at Ball State.”

Ellen_WagnerEllen Wagner, a microbiology major from Hamilton, Ohio, likewise has an extensive research record, primarily on the role of biofilm-forming bacteria and its impact on food safety.

After earning a Ph.D. in microbial genetics, Ellen explains that her career goal is “to work in the research department of a hospital or at a major institute, conducting research that will uncover medically relevant information concerning the infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.”

Ellen, who was recently awarded a summer internship at MIT, hopes that her research on microbial genetics will aid in the production of antibiotics and vaccines to combat the growing population of antibiotic-resistant organisms.