Scholarship News

Junior receives Gilman Scholarship for internship in South Africa

Graduating seniors and alumna receive Fulbright Student Grants

Udall Scholarship winner 

Landscape Architecture student wins Boren Scholarship for study in Brazil

Sophomore wins Hollings Scholarship; one other student named a finalist

2014 graduate wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Two juniors named Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mentions

Two students win Critical Language Scholarships

Student receives Cultural Vistas Fellowship for summer study

Gilman Scholarship winner to study in South Africa 

Women's rights proponent named Truman Scholarship finalist

Six Ball State Fulbright finalists announced

Honors student receives Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship 


May 2016: Leslie Thomas, a resident of Oak Park, Ill., has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to support a two-month internship in South Africa this summer. 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.Leslie_Thomas

Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-up project upon their return to the U.S. that helps promote international understanding. For his project, Leslie will create and conduct a role-playing game for several BSU student 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 is just completing his junior year. “As someone who is involved in my campus’s multicultural community and learning about what it means to be interculturally competent, going on this trip will allow me to put some of these key concepts into action.”

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.

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


Hannah_TurnerApril 2016:  Hannah Turner, a 2014 graduate of Ball State (and previous recipient of a Fulbright Student Grant to Hungary), received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support her current PhD studies in mathematics at the University of Texas Austin.


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.  


 March 2016: Two graduating seniors have been awarded Critical Language Scholarships, a State Department program that facilitates 10 weeks of intensive summer language study in languages considered critical to U.S. national security. A third student has been named an alternate.

Christine Johnson, an Honors College student and senior in landscape architecture, was selected for the intermediate Korean program in Gwangju, South Korea. As a landscape architect, Christine intends to use her language skills to provide professional links between U.S. and Korean firms.ChristineJohnson 

"Receiving the scholarship is a step forward in making me a more understanding citizen of our global culture, as well as increasing my competitive advantage in the ever-changing international design field of landscape architecture," she said. 

Christine, who is from Walled Lake, Mich., interned in South Korea for five months last year, and in 2014 she received a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to support summer study in China. 

AmonRizviAmon Rizvi, a senior in journalism and telecommunications, was selected for the advanced Urdu program in Lucknow, India. She will begin using her language skills professionally this fall, when she becomes a producer for Urdu TV and radio programs with Voice of America's Urdu service.

"This scholarship will allow me the chance to learn the beautiful language of my ancestors and give me an opportunity to learn about a country   different from the U.S.," said Amon, who is from Carol Stream, Ill. Olivia_Peterson

In 2014, she received the scholarship to study intermediate Urdu that she then used as an intern with Voice of America's Urdu service, which serves a 98% Pakistani audience. 

Olivia Peterson, a sophomore art major and Honors College student, was named an alternate for the intermediate Japanese program. 


March 2016: Cruz Aleman, a junior majoring in dietetics, will intern in Argentina for two months this summer with a Cultural Vistas Fellowship. He is one of only twelve U.S. students nationwide selected to participate in this year’s Cultural Vistas Fellowship program, which facilitates fully-funded internship/cultural exchange experiences in Argentina, Germany, and India.CruzAleman

Cruz will intern in Buenos Aires with an organization or agency that addresses sustainable food production. “I believe this opportunity will help to further my professional goals,” Cruz said, “as I hope to do non-for-profit work dealing in sustainable nutrition development in struggling communities.” He also looks forward to the opportunity to advance his Spanish language skills while in Argentina.

The Portage, Mich., resident is a member of Ball State’s Dietetics Association, Phi Upsilon Omicron (Family and Consumer Sciences honor society), and Latino Student Union. He has also volunteered at Harvest Soup Kitchen in Muncie.

Cultural Vistas is a not-for-profit organization using 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.”

Allison Hoagland, a sophomore architecture major and Honors College student, was also a finalist for the Cultural Vistas Fellowship.


February 2016: Savannah Lundgren, a sophomore biology major (with concentrations in zoology and wildlife conservation biology), has been awarded a $4,500 Gilman Scholarship to support five weeks of study in South Africa this summer. SavannahLundgren

Savannah, who is from Milltown, Ind., will participate in a three-week field study and two-week project with African Impact, in its Big Cats Research and Conservation Project. 

"As a future zoologist, this experience will open doors for me in my professional interests by increasing my qualifications," Savannah said. "The scholarship has given me the opportunity to do what I love and learn more about the natural world we live in."

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. 


February 2016: Riley Vyain, a senior majoring in political science (with a minor in women’s and gender studies), has been named a finalist for the Truman Scholarship! She will be interviewed in Chicago on March 11, along with other regional finalists.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Ball State in May (in only three years), she plans to spend a year volunteering with a not-for-profit organization, then enter PhD studies in women and politics. RileyVyain

Riley intends to dedicate her professional life to increasing opportunities for women in government and other spheres of influence. Her long-term goal is to combine research and advocacy by becoming an executive at a research institute that addresses issues of women and politics.

The Kokomo, Indiana, resident is president of Ball State’s Civil Liberties Union, vice-president (and past president) of the campus Oxfam chapter, and an active volunteer for the League of Women Voters of Muncie-Delaware County.

The Truman Scholarship – one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious scholarships – is for juniors who demonstrate outstanding potential to become future leaders and “change agents” in public service. Approximately 60 scholarships will be awarded to nominated juniors from across the country in late March or early April.


January 2016: Congratulations to the following six student Fulbright applicants, who’ve made it to the finalist round for the U.S. Student Fulbright program!

• Senior Charelle Brown, for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Argentina
• Senior Elizabeth (Betty) Brown, for an ETA in Germany
• 2015 graduate Lauren Fosnight, for an ETA in Mexico
• Graduate student Elizabeth King, for an ETA in Taiwan
• Senior Shay Stewart, for graduate study at LAMDA (London School of Music and the Dramatic Arts) in the UK
• Senior Jesse Taskovic, for a research project in Singapore

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.


June 2015: Heidi Noneman, an Honors College student from Keokuk, Iowa, received the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship, a $5,000 award to support her graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Missouri. Heidi NonemanPhi Kappa Phi, one of the most prestigious honor societies in the nation, awards the fellowship to 51 of its members entering their first year of postgraduate study.

Heidi is a May 2015 graduate who majored in chemistry and anthropology at Ball State. She plans to continue her studies in both anthropology and chemistry, in pursuit of a career as an archaeochemist and museum curator.