Scholarship News

Freshman to participate in Fulbright Summer Institute in Wales

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship honors for BSU alumni 

TCOM major wins Indiana Broadcasters Association Scholarship

Udall Scholarship winner and honorable mention

Ball State students receive Goldwater Scholarship, Honorable Mention

Garden Club of America Scholarship winner

Architecture major wins Cultural Vistas Fellowship to Singapore

Critical Language Scholarship finalists

U.S. Student Fulbright Grant finalists

Two students win Gilman Scholarship

Ball State athlete wins Bob Jones Memorial Scholarship
Three from Ball State receive Fulbright Student Grants
Men’s volleyball player wins NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Recent alumna receives Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship for graduate studies



April 2014: Emily Schebler, an Honors College freshman with majors in political science and legal studies, has been selected to participate in the 2014 U.K. Fulbright Wales Summer Institute. She was one of 62 freshmen and sophomores chosen nationwide for nine summer institutes, all of which are fully funded.EmilySchebler

The Batesville native is active in several Ball State organizations, including Mock Trial Team, Student Honors Council, BSU College Republicans, and DeHority Hall Council.

During her six weeks in Wales, Emily and seven other participants will experience educational programming at three different Welsh universities. She’ll learn about the country’s culture, history, geographical variety, and the role that industry has taken in shaping the historical, political and cultural landscape of Wales.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience another culture that I ordinarily would not be able to experience,” Emily commented. “I am astounded by this wonderful chance to meet others and travel abroad.”

One of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating world-wide, the U.K. Fulbright Summer Institute is a program of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission. Summer Institute participants are chosen as future leaders who will support the “special relationship” between the U.S. and U.K.



April 2014: Four recent Ball State graduates have been recognized by the NSF (National Science Foundation) Graduate Research Fellowship program. Two May 2013 graduates received fellowships:


Jeffrey Dick, who majored in chemistry at Ball State and is now a PhD student in electrochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin


Dustin Owen, who majored in biology as an undergraduate and is a graduate student in ecology at Austin Peay State University

The following alumni received Honorable Mention:


Griffin Capehart, a May 2013 BSU graduate who majored in biology and is now a graduate student in physiology at California Polytechnic State University


Breanna Brenneman, a December 2013 BSU graduate who majored in microbiology; she will enter a PhD program at the University of Virginia in the summer to prepare for a career in cancer research


April 2014: Linda Bellamy, a sophomore majoring in telecommunications (with a minor in creative writing), has received a $2,500 scholarship from the Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA).
A resident of Indianapolis and a student in Ball State’s Honors College, Linda intends to pursue a career as a camera operator or film editor in the television industry, ideally in children’s programming.

“It means the world to me to receive such an honor and is a testament to the generosity of my community,” she said of winning an IBA scholarship.

The Indiana Broadcasters Association has represented the radio and television broadcasters of Indiana for 65 years.

April 2014: Colin Hart, a junior Honors College student majoring in theatrical studies, has received been named a 2014 Udall Scholar. He is one of 50 students nationwide to receive the $5,000 scholarship, which recognizes his commitment to a career in the environment, his leadership potential, and his academic achievement. He is the eighth Ball State student to win a Udall Scholarship since 2005.
Originally a resident of Bloomington, Ind., Colin intends to become a playwright who focuses on environmental concerns. He has actively pursued such interests through the Department of Theatre and Dance, the 2013 Down to Earth seminar at the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, an Undergraduate Research Fellowship investigating sustainability and theatrical arts, and many campus and community service activities.

In early August, Colin and the other 2014 Udall Scholars will assemble in Tucson, Ariz., to receive their awards and meet policymakers and leaders in environmental fields and tribal healthcare and governance.

“Receiving the Udall Scholarship reinforces the legitimacy of my belief that the arts have a huge role to play in sustainability,” said Colin. “Historically, positive social change has often been the result of an artistic movement.”

After completing his undergraduate degree, he intends to pursue a graduate degree in the environmental arts and become a pioneer in that field. The Udall Scholarship “will provide me with networking opportunities,” Colin added. “I will be able to add an artistic voice to the crucial ecological dialogues currently taking place across the nation – extending theories from the scientific laboratory into the art studio.”

Another Honors College student, Samantha Harsh, was one of 50 students to receive Honorable Mention in the Udall Scholarship competition. A junior from Sylvania, Ohio, she is majoring in natural resources and environmental management.
Samantha intends to bring classroom education and natural resources together through her work with a state-level Department of Natural Resources. She has already gained field experience interning with Ohio’s DNR at Kelley’s Island, where she will work again this summer.

“I want to make big changes in education through my career,” Samantha stated, “and the process of applying for the Udall really helped me solidify these goals and helped me realize that this is really what I want to do with my life.”

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports sophomores and juniors committed to careers that protect or serve the environment or tribal policy and healthcare. This year the Foundation received 489 scholarship nominations from colleges and universities across the nation.

March 2014: Luke Schmid, a junior with majors in pre-medicine and cell and molecular biology, as well as a minor in chemistry, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship! Fellow junior and chemistry major Amie Baker has received Honorable Mention.

Luke is one of 283 sophomores and juniors nationwide this year to receive the $7,500 scholarship, which is considered the most prestigious scholarship in the nation for undergraduates who intend to pursue Luke Schmidresearch-focused careers in science and mathematics.

A resident of Carmel, Ind., Luke is a student in the Honors College and has been active in cancer research at Ball State since June 2013. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he intends to pursue an MD/PhD in biomedical engineering, with the goal of conducting research in biomedical technology for underdeveloped nations.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have received the Goldwater Scholarship,” Luke stated. “The opportunities made available by this honor will help turn dreams into reality for helping others.” Luke is the tenth Ball State student to receive a Goldwater Scholarship.

Amie Baker, from Willshire, Ohio, received Honorable Mention for the Goldwater. She has been an active researcher in Ball State’s Chemistry Department, focusing on synthetic organic chemistry. After completing her undergraduate program, she intends to pursue a PhD in chemistry, with the goal of working as a synthetic organic chemist in agriculture or industry, eventually teaching at a university.
“This recognition means a lot to me personally because I know I can compete with other top-level chemists in the United States,” Amie commented. “This honor will help me accomplish my goals of conducting research for an established research facility.”

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was created in 1986 to foster and encourage excellence in scientific and mathematical study and research. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and potential for continued success in academic study and research in science or mathematics.

March 2014: Sarah Fischer, a sophomore Honors College student with majors in both biology and art (printmaking), has been awarded a Garden Club of America Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship will help support independent, experiential research into sustainable arts and agriculture in Iceland this summer with two other Ball State students.
“As a Garden Club of America Scholar, I feel that I am part of a necessary shift towards a more ecologically sustainable future,” Sarah said. “While studying in Iceland, I want to discover a more meaningful existence and then share my findings through an art exhibition.”

Sarah, who is from Lexington, Kentucky, was also named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Last summer, Sarah was one of eight US students selected to participate in the UK Fulbright Summer Institute at Notthingham Trent University, where she studied the culture and history of the region through art.

March 2014: Denise Blankenberger – a sophomore Honors College student majoring in architecture, with a minor in sustainability – has been awarded a Cultural Vistas Fellowship to undertake a fully funded, eight-week internship in Singapore this summer. She is the first Ball State student to win the fellowship, which is in its second year. Denise2

The Cultural Vistas Fellowship program annually offers 12 U.S. undergraduates the opportunity to advance their career goals, develop global competencies, and experience life in Argentina, Germany, and Singapore through eight-week internships that focus on sustainability. Denise is one of four students selected for the Singapore program, which includes additional weeks of pre-trip preparation in New York City.

While in Singapore, Denise will intern with an architecture firm or other professional organization that incorporates sustainability principles and practices into its work. “Part of my duty as an architect is to find better ways to approach building and design techniques to assure a cleaner, better future,” she said.

Denise is active in Ball State’s chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and American Institute of Architecture Students. She participated in a Global Brigades environmental service trip to the Panama rainforest in December and has become president of Ball State’s newest Global Brigades program, a brigade specifically focused on architecture.

“I am thrilled to get the chance to travel and explore Singapore, which is one of the most sustainable cities in the world,” said Denise. “I hope to learn about their culture, particularly how individuals live and interact with the built environment, to broaden my understanding of architecture on the international scale.”

Cultural Vistas is a not-for-profit organization that has used career exploration to facilitate connections between Americans and international visitors for more than 60 years. Its mission is “to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange."


February 2014: Three Ball State students advanced in the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS):


         Hilary Hughes (for study of Russian) - finalist
         Kirby (for study of Bangla) - finalist
         Amon Rizvi (for study of Urdu) -alternate

Critical Language Scholarships provided 8-10 weeks of summer language study in one of 13 languages that are considered critical to U.S. national security. Each language program also provides cultural immersion in a country in which the language is spoken.

January 2014: Eight Ball State applicants for the U.S. Student Fulbright Grant have advanced to the finalist stage:


          Taylor Byrd (to teach English in Malaysia)
          Talley Gale (for graduate study in the United Kingdom)
          Amara Knox (to teach English in Malaysia)
          Jeffrey Lauer (to conduct research in India)
          Meghan Reidy (to teach English in Germany)
          Matthew Smith (for graduate study in the United Kingdom)
          Hannah Turner (for study in Hungary)
          Anna Wurdeman (to teach English in Germany)

Finalists will be notified of their final status in the spring. If awarded a grant, the recipient will go abroad this fall for approximately 9-10 months.

This year the Fulbright headquarters received a record number of applications – over 10,000 – from graduating seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates.


January 2014: Two students have received Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships, to support educational experiences in Malta and Germany this semester.

Ellie Komoda, a junior majoring in general studies, with minors in history and psychology, has been awarded a Benjamin Gilman Scholarship to support her study at the University of Malta.

In addition to her studies at the university, Ellie is creating a short film about her experiences that she will use, upon her return to the U.S., to encourage other college students to study abroad. “So much can be learned outside of their home countries,” said Ellie, who is fluent in four languages, “and opportunities to study abroad are in abundance.”EllieKomoda2

Her film will fulfill the requirement that all Gilman Scholarship recipients carry out a follow-on project that helps promote international education and understanding.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Ellie – a resident of Bloomington, Ind. – intends to pursue a career teaching English as a Second Language, in order to help immigrants to the United States adapt to their new country.

Hailey Rice, from Kokomo, Ind., is spending the semester student teaching in Germany with the support of a Gilman Scholarship. A senior in BSU’s exceptional needs and severe interventions program, Hailey is the first Ball State student from her major to participate in the student teaching program at Ramstein, a United States Air force base in Germany.


“I am so thankful for this scholarship and the awareness it will help bring to other special education majors about this nontraditional route for student teaching,” Hailey said. “I am extremely fortunate to have been given the chance to showcase my abilities and strengthen my passion for teaching students with special needs in Germany.”

For her follow-on project, Hailey plans to share her experiences in Germany in special education classrooms at Ball State and also create printed materials to promote the Ramstein program.

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. Up to $3,000 of additional funding is available to students to pursue study of certain languages.


August 2013: Skylar Chew, a 2012 graduate who played for the women’s soccer team, has received the Skylar ChewBob James Memorial Award from the Mid-American Conference (MAC), in recognition of her outstanding academic performance, character, leadership, and citizenship.

Each year the MAC Faculty Athletics Representatives select one female and one male senior athlete for the $5,000 scholarship, which must be used for graduate studies.

Skylar, who majored in psychology (with a minor in interpersonal relations), will use the scholarship to help fund her future studies in counseling or healthcare, with the goal of becoming a mental health counselor.

Earlier this year she received a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which also must be used to support graduate studies. Nationwide, she was one of only 29 female athletes in fall sports to receive the scholarship and one of 174 athletes, both male and female, to receive the award during the 2012-13 academic year.

Skylar is spending most of 2013 teaching psychology and English to women at the Leadership Center in Honduras. As a BSU student she was extremely active in community service and spent a summer teaching and coaching in Peru.

“I am so thankful for this honor and feel so blessed by everyone who has helped me get to where I am,” Skylar stated. “I pray that this award will contribute to furthering my education so that I am better equipped to serve others and make a positive different throughout the wider world.”

With a 4.0 GPA, Skylar graduated summa cum laude from Ball State in December 2012. She was the first women’s soccer player in the school’s history to be named first-team Capital One Academic All-American. She also earned ESPN Academic All-District second team and Academic All-MAC (Mid-American Conference) honors.

Now in its 25th year, the Bob James Memorial Award is named in honor Bob James, the second commissioner in Mid-American Conference history (1964-71). The male recipient for the 2012 Bob James Award was Briggs Orsbon, a member of Ball State’s football team.


July 2013: Two Ball State students and an alumna have received Fulbright U.S. Student Grants, to support teaching and research opportunities abroad during the 2013-14 academic year.

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 155 countries. In 2013 the department awarded approximately 1,700 grants to U.S. students and recent graduates.

Carly Bacurin, a 2009 Ball State graduate, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany.Carly Bacurin There she will assist a German teacher of English by facilitating conversations in English and giving presentations on American culture and traditions.

Outside of her time in the classroom, she also intends to volunteer at a hippotherapy center, drawing upon her experience in horseback riding and interest in working with individuals with disabilities.

An Evansville, Ind., native, Carly majored in German and visual communications at Ball State and was a student in the Honors College. Following her Fulbright year, she intends to enter a Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree.

“I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to live in Germany for a year,” Carly said. “While helping German students develop their English skills, I will be able to gain classroom experience that I hope will aid me in my dream to become a speech pathologist in the public school system.”

Abby Savage, from Hicksville Ohio, likewise has received an English Teaching Assistantship to GermanyAbby Savage and also has been named a Diversity Ambassador for the Fulbright Program, to instruct German students on American politics, culture, and education.

Abby intends to create a conversation partner program between her students and U.S. classrooms and to develop a drama program that will involve her students in community theater. She further hopes to become involved in the community she lives in by providing Zumba lessons at a local gym and teaching conversational English classes.

The May 2013 graduate – who was a Whitinger Scholar within the Honors College – majored in elementary education and German at Ball State. After her year with Fulbright, Abby hopes to secure a position teaching in a developing nation.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be returning to teach in a place that inspired my passion for education,” said Abby, who briefly studied in Germany in both high school and college. “My experience abroad will help me to become a more culturally-responsive educator, and this is a lesson I will carry into all my future teaching experiences. I am ecstatic to work alongside the Fulbright Commission to provide culture and language enrichment for students in Germany.”

Doctoral student Cynthia L. Smith, originally of Heiskell, Tenn., has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. StudentCynthia Smith Award to conduct research in Basel, Switzerland during the 2013-14 academic year. She will be working with the Paul Sacher Foundation and the University of Basel to research the manuscripts of Holocaust composer Viktor Ullmann and promote his compositions within the Basel community.

Cynthia entered the doctor of arts program in vocal performance and music history and musicology at Ball State’s School of Music in 2010. Her work in Switzerland will be part of her dissertation research and her larger journey as a scholar of Holocaust music.

After completing her doctorate, Cynthia intends to pursue a teaching position at the college or university level.

“I am truly honored to be a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Award,” Cynthia said. “I hope to make Viktor Ullmann’s vocal compositions, particularly his Holocaust works, more accessible to performers and audiences. His music deserves to be performed.”


Learn more about Cynthia's time in Switzerland by following her blog.

Another student, Jeffrey Dick, of Muncie, also was offered a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, to South Korea, but he declined in order to accept an opportunity in graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The May 2013 graduate majored in chemistry at Ball State.

Lauren Siefert, from Batesville, Ind., was named an alternate to Fulbright’s ETA program in Indonesia. In May she completed her undergraduate degree in family and consumer sciences.


June 2013: Tommy Rouse, who was a member of the BSU men’s volleyball team, received a $7,500 Tommy RouseNCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to support his studies in dental school. The scholarship, which recognizes athletes who excel in academics, leadership, service, and character, is awarded to 174 athletes annually – 29 male athletes and 29 female athletes for each sports season.

A Carmel, Ind., resident, Tommy majored in biology and pre-dental preparation at Ball State, graduating in May 2013 with a 3.86 GPA.

His academic and athletic honors as a student included the MAC (Mid-American Conference) Commissioner's Award, the Ball State Student Athlete Award, MIVA (Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) All-Academic honors, and First Team All-MIVA. He was an active volunteer for several Muncie organizations.

He plans to enter dental school in the fall of 2014.


June 2013: Laura Gilbert, a 2012 Ball State graduate from Monticello, Ind., has received a Phi Kappa PLaura Gilberthi Fellowship to support her graduate studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. She is one of 51 recent graduates across the country to win the $5,000 fellowship, in addition to six students who received $15,000 fellowships.

Laura graduated from Ball State and Honors College in July 2012 as the university’s first Medallion Scholar, a prestigious opportunity that allowed her to design her own major in the Classical Tradition. During the last year she worked as a publishing and media intern at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Through the University of Bristol’s MA program in Classical Reception, Laura will study the ways in which classical cultures continue to influence modern culture, especially in art and literature. After completing her degree there, she intends to pursue a career in research and education at an art museum or a civic arts organization.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Ball State has had a campus chapter since 2003.