2014 NREM grad wins James Beard Scholarship
BSU swimmer wins two national scholarships
Architecture major wins sustainability design scholarship
Spring athletes win NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships

Five students win Gilman Scholarships for summer study abroad

Two freshmen to participate in U.K. Fulbright Summer Institutes
Two graduating seniors receive Fulbright Student Awards
Udall Scholarship Honorable Mentions
Chemistry major receives Goldwater Honorable Mention
Senior receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Junior wins Critical Language Scholarship
Sophomore receives Gilman Scholarship for study in Spain

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



September 2017:  Alumna Alyssa Hartman recently received a James Beard National Scholarship – a $20,000 award that Alyssa is using to support her studies at the Vermont Law School, in its Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy program.

Alyssa HartmanEach year the James Beard Foundation awards ten National Scholarships to outstanding applicants who “demonstrate the potential for leadership roles in culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields.”

Alyssa graduated from Ball State and the Honors College in 2014, with a major in natural resources and environmental management.  Since completing her bachelor’s degree, she has served with Green Corps, worked for Revolution Foods, and interned at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily.

At Ball State Alyssa was extremely active in several campus organizations committed to food equity and access to natural resources, including Oxfam and Timmy Global Health.  As a freshman she received a UK Fulbright Summer Institute Award, which facilitated summer study in Wales, and two years later she received honorable mention for the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students dedicated to environmental causes.

Through the Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy program, Alyssa hopes to develop a better understanding of the history and current state of agriculture in the United States, with the goal of building more equitable and accessible communities through food production and access.

“The James Beard Foundation is an organization which I have long admired, particularly for its interest in improving food access and their focus on sustainability, both in growing and preparing food,” said Alyssa, a Van Wert, Ohio, native.  “I am honored to be a recipient of this scholarship as I pursue a career in food and agriculture.”

Learn more about the James Beard Foundation at www.jamesbeard.org


September 2017:  Tanner Barton, a May 2017 graduate, received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and the Mid-American Conference’s Bob James Memorial Award, both of which recognize his excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and community service. Tanner Barton

The Bob James Memorial Award is given to only one male and one female MAC athlete each year, while a total of 174 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded each year, with 29 male and 29 female athletes selected for each sports season.  The two scholarships, valued at $5,000 and $7,500, respectively, must be used to support postgraduate studies. 

Tanner, who was a four-year varsity swimmer for the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team, had undergraduate majors in health science and Spanish, along with minors in interpersonal relations and history. He graduated summa cum laude, with a 4.00 GPA, from the Honors College. In May his academic achievements, both inside and outside the classroom, were recognized with the Ball State Provost’s Prize, which is awarded to a single outstanding senior each year. 

As an undergraduate, Tanner was extremely active in campus organizations, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Spanish Club, but his greatest commitment is to activities associated with juvenile diabetes.  He co-founded Ball State’s College Diabetes Network, and at the regional and national levels he has dedicated hundreds of hours to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

He was an inaugural member of JDRF International Type 1 Diabetes Voices Council, and he was involved in several international initiatives sponsored by Novo Nordisk, even serving as the keynote speaker for the 2015 International World Diabetes Day in Denmark.

The Dublin, Ohio, resident is now in the first semester of his master’s degree program in exercise science (sport performance) at Ball State, with the goal of eventually becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator who helps diabetes patients, especially athletes, live full and active lives.

"I take the utmost pride in being a scholar-athlete, as I have always strived for academic and athletic excellence,” said Tanner.  “It is exciting to know that the MAC and the NCAA have recognized my pursuit of excellence in the classroom and pool.”


August 2017:  Megan York—who is entering her senior year as an architecture major (with a historic preservation minor) and Honors College student—has been awarded a Tricia Levangie Green/Sustainability ScholarshipMegan York

Each year the IFDA (International Furnishings and Design Association) Educational Foundation selects one recipient of the $1,500 scholarship nationwide. “Being recognized with this scholarship addresses both my passion and the importance of the innovation behind sustainable and green design,” said Megan.

After graduating from Ball State in 2018, Megan, an Indianapolis resident, intends to complete a master’s degree in environmental building design.  Her ultimate goal is to become the principal of an architecture firm that practices innovative, regenerative design of energy-efficient buildings. 

 At Ball State, Megan has been secretary and treasurer of the campus chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and as a staff member of Glue, a student-run publication of the College of Architecture and Planning.  Off-campus, she has been a volunteer for the Indiana Parks Foundation in recycling, cleaning, and restoring some of the parks in downtown Indianapolis.


July 2017:  Matt Helm and Caleb Stayton—both spring sport athletes who graduated summa cum laude in May 2017—have received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, which recognize their excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and community service. 

A total of 174 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded each year, with 29 male and 29 female athletes selected for each sports season.   The $7,500 scholarship must be used to support postgraduate studies.

Matt HelmMatt, who had a biology major and chemistry minor at Ball State, was a member of the men’s tennis team and Honors College.  This fall he will be entering the M.D. program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, with the eventual goal of becoming a surgeon.

As an undergraduate Matt dedicated more than 600 hours to coordinating the annual BSU Dance Marathon, which raises funds for Riley Children’s Hospital.  He also helped conduct medical research on topics ranging from rare medical disorders like aggressive angiomyxoma to complex hernia repairs.  Such reserach resulted in co-authorship of articles in national journals and presentations at national medical conferences.

“All the hard work I put into athletics and the sacrifices that I made in pursuit of excellence in tennis helped me to develop the capabilities needed to overcome the challenges of medical school and become a physician capable of impacting lives,” said Matt, a resident of Bloomington, Ind.

Caleb StaytonCaleb, who was a member of the baseball team, graduated with a major in telecommunications (with a concentration in digital sports production) and a minor in entrepreneurial management.  He will enter the Master of Divinity degree at Liberty University this fall, with the goal of becoming a pastor and starting a new church in an area of need. 

I want to use my life to serve God and make a difference in this world,” said Caleb, who is from Goshen, Ind. At Ball State, Caleb was a leader of Athletes in Action, a Christian campus ministry, and organized volunteer activities for the baseball team. 

In 2016 he was a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award—recognizing him as one of the nation’s “breakout players” among intercollegiate baseball players.  He ranked 10th in the nation for RBIs and led the MAC (Mid-American Conference) in batting average, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage.


June 2017:  Five BSU undergraduates were awarded Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad this summer, in addition to Jessica Beaver, who received a Gilman Scholarship through the early summer application period. Three other students were named alternates.

All scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-on service project upon their return to the U.S. that helps promote international education and understanding.

Elizabeth BenningElizabeth Benning is using her Gilman Scholarship to support three months of study in Japan at Sapporo University, where she is focusing on language and cultural studies.  Elizabeth, who is from Brownsburg, Ind., has a major in elementary education and a minor in Japanese.   After completing her degree at Ball State in 2018, she intends to live and work as a teacher in Japan.

“Receiving this scholarship will allow me to attain a higher level of fluency in Japanese, a language I have studied now for eight years,” said Elizabeth.  Follow-on service project: Elizabeth intends to integrate lessons on Japanese culture into her upcoming practicum and student teaching experiences with elementary and high school students. 

Shannon DanchoValparaiso, Ind., resident Shannon Dancho, who has majors in both Japanese and philosophy, also received a Gilman Scholarship to support three months in Japan this summer at Sapporo University.  After graduating in 2018, she plans to use this experience as a foundation for undertaking a master’s degree in Japanese philosophy and eventually a doctorate in philosophy, with a focus on environmental ethics.

“After receiving the Gilman,” commented Shannon, “I realized how important it is for me to go to Japan and fulfill my childhood dream. Everything has finally became a reality rather than a potential opportunity.”  Follow-on service project: Shannon will give presentations to BSU campus groups about waste management practices in Japan.

Jaila LawrenceJaila Lawrence, who just completed her junior year with a major in international business and a minor in Chinese, is studying Chinese language, culture, and ancient civilization at Beijing University in China for one month this summer. Follow-on service project: Jaila will promote study in China among BSU students through the creation of a brochure and a video compilation of her experiences in China.

“I have always been curious about the diversity of language and cultures in other nations,” said the Cincinnati native. “One of my ultimate goals in life is to promote national diversity and motivate others to do the same! While abroad I hope to gain lots of knowledge, become fluent in Chinese, and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Matia RujiraviriyapinyoMatia Rujiraviriyapinyo, of Rushville, Ind., has received a Gilman Scholarship to support two internships, totaling eight weeks, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  For both internships she is teaching English, first to adult learners and then to children in grades 1-3.  “I plan to immerse myself in the Spanish language, learn the Tango, and learn more about the Argentinian culture and customs,” she said. 

Matia, who will graduate in 2018, has majors in both early childhood education and Spanish, with the goal of becoming a bilingual educator.  Follow-on service project: Matia will create a presentation and brochure for education majors that share her experiences in Argentina and help spread awareness of the need for more bilingual teachers in the Midwest.

Min ZhengMin Zheng, who just completed his junior year with majors in both Japanese and computer science, received the Gilman Scholarship to support six weeks in Japan this summer.  There he is studying Japanese language, arts, humanities, and social sciences at Nanzan University in Nagoya.

“Using this scholarship,” said the Gas City, Ind., resident, “I hope to meet many new people who will become lifelong friends and experience some Japanese culture that will later lead me to work in the U.S. and Japan's technological economy.” Follow-on service project: Min intends to expand awareness of the Gilman Scholarship through Ball State’s Study Abroad Fair and Financial Aid office.

Three other students were named alternates for the Gilman Scholarship:

  • Kiersten Henderson, with majors in accounting and economics, for study in Costa RicaGilman Scholarship alternates
  • Tanner Hildman, an international business major and Spanish minor, for study in Spain
  • Kelsey Smith, an art education major, for participation in Ball State’s month-long “Art in Italy” 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.  


April 2017:  Two Honors College freshmen have been selected for U.K. Fulbright Summer Institutes.  Nationwide, only 62 freshmen and sophomores have been awarded spots in ten summer institutes, all of which are fully funded by the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission.Evan Hatfield

During his three weeks at the University of Westminster (London), Evan Hatfield will study British media and experience the history, culture, and arts scene in London and other locations in England.  With majors in journalism and telecommunications, as well as a minor in political science, Evan intends to pursue a career in political journalism. 

“As a journalist, I believe getting out to see the world and the people in it is an important part of understanding why we do what we do,” commented Evan, a native of Des Plaines, Ill. “I'm extremely thrilled to have a chance to start down that path while I'm in college.”  He is one of five U.S. students selected for the Westminster Institute.

Ren RaineyLauren (“Ren”) Rainey, a resident of Columbia City, Ind., is one of four U.S. students selected for the three-week SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) University of London Summer Institute.  There she will study international politics and explore the history and culture of England.

Ren has majors in political science and pre-law and minors in international studies and European studies.  She intends to enter law school, with the ultimate goal of protecting human rights as a public defender, and she may run for political office one day. 

“I've heard from so many others how important traveling and gaining new experiences is, so to be able to go to the UK before my sophomore year is amazing!” said Ren. “I'm so excited to meet new people from diverse countries who have a similar interest in development studies and politics, and I'll hopefully be able to expand my horizons even further by taking a class on Middle Eastern studies.”

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


April 2017:  Two graduating seniors, both Honors College students, have received Fulbright U.S. Student Awards to support study and teaching opportunities in Europe. Three other students were also named finalists.

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 nearly 150 countries. In 2017 the department is awarding approximately 1,900 grants to U.S. students and recent graduates.

Marco Leon, a resident of Hammond, Ind., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Luxembourg, beginning in September 2017.  There he will help teach English to either high school or university students, and he also plans to start a comic book writing club, as a creative medium for sharing culture. Marco Leon

Marco has a major in speech language pathology and a minor in French, and after returning to the U.S., he will enter a master’s degree program in speech-language pathology. “The ETA program in Luxembourg will give me invaluable experience that I will use throughout my career,” said Marco, who has been active in College Mentors for Kids and Student Voluntary Services.

“Honestly, I surprised myself!” said Marco of his Fulbright success. “I'm taking this trip to honor the legacy of my mother. Without her, I would never have pushed myself to even apply for the Fulbright.”  In 2015, Marco also received a Gilman Scholarship to support summer study in France.

Arlesha MooreArlesha Moore, a criminal justice/criminology major and digital forensics minor from St. Louis, Mo., will enter the M.Sc. program in criminology at the University of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, this fall.  She wants to study England’s legal system and compare it to that of the United States, with the goal of improving relationships between police and citizens in the U.S.  After completing her master’s degree, she intends to enter law school and become a civil rights attorney.

By studying at the University of Leicester, Arlesha said, “I will have a better understanding of how social justice and criminal justice can work hand in hand, especially for African American males.”  At Ball State she has studied various perspectives on Ferguson, Mo., and in the Muncie community she has been an active volunteer at the Buley Community Center and an intern at the Youth Opportunity Center.

“The most important aspect of my Fulbright year will be becoming part of a worldwide community that is bridging the gap of cultural understanding between countries,” said Arlesha. 

Finalists for the Fulbright were Haley Crane, for master’s-degree study in the U.K.; Lauren Donahue, for the ETA program in Germany; and George Hickman, for the ETA program in Greece.


April 2017:  Two Ball State juniors – Allison Hoagland and Emily Meer – have been awarded Honorable Mention in the 2017 Udall Scholarship competition, in recognition of their leadership and commitment to environmental issues.  Since 2005, 17 Ball State students have received Udall Scholarships or Honorable Mention.

Allison HoaglandAllison, an architecture major from Louisville, Ky., has minors in sustainability, urban planning, history, and historic preservation.  Her many activities at Ball State include serving as co-president of the Global Brigades’ water brigade, which includes work trips in Nicaragua.

Allison eventually intends to open a design firm that will focus on reversing urban sprawl and revitalizing our nation’s cities.  “I want to design a future where people are not in competition with nature over land usage,” she said, but instead help create cities that “promote a harmonious relationship between people and the environment.”

Emily MeerEmily is a fourth-year landscape architecture major from Batesville, Ind., who is currently studying and interning in Brazil for six months, with the support of a Boren Scholarship, which she received in 2016.  Emily’s goal is to work for USAID in South America, where she wants to “promote sustainable practices in the distribution, storage, and usage of water resources.”

At Ball State, Emily has been active in Global Brigades, serving as president of the environmental brigade, and in GROW, a campus garden that she co-founded and has led as both vice-president and secretary.

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 2017:  Junior Abby Waggoner has been awarded Honorable Mention in the 2017 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship competition, which recognizes sophomores and juniors who plan to enter research-focused careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.Abby Waggoner

Abby, an Honors College student from Converse, Ind., is majoring in chemistry, with minors in mathematics and astrophysics.  As an undergraduate, she has gained extensive research experience in Ball State’s Chemistry Department, and this summer she will participate in a research internship at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

After graduating from Ball State, Abby intends to pursue a Ph.D. in astrochemistry and spectroscopy, with a focus on the formation of complex organic molecules in newly forming solar systems via radical reactions.  Her ultimate career goal is to work as an astrochemist at NASA.

Abby is also the current vice president of Ball State’s chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS).  She is the 14th BSU student to receive the Goldwater Scholarship or Honorable Mention over the past decade.



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 Bre 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.Haley Crane

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.  


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