Japanese major wins Gilman Scholarship to Japan
May 2019 grad wins NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Three May 2019 graduates head to Japan with JET
Gilman Scholarship takes BSU students to Spain and Greece
Meteorology major wins Hollings Scholarship from NOAA
Chemistry major wins Goldwater Scholarship
Carothers Scholarship recipient to conduct research in South Africa
Three Ball State Students win Fulbright Awards
Udall Scholarship winner
BSU's first Pi Delta Phi Scholarship winner to study in Québec
Future healthcare policy reformer named Truman Scholarship finalist
Senior named semi-finalist for Critical Language Scholarship
Eight students named Fulbright semi-finalists
BSU Alumnus wins study/research scholarship to Japan
Four Gilman Scholarship winners to study abroad this summer
September 2019: Ball State junior Shelby Johnson has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which is about to take her to Japan for 10 months!
As an exchange student at Tokyo Gakugei University, Shelby will take culture and language courses, conduct research on rakugo, a traditional form of Japanese storytelling entertainment, and learn kyūdō, Japanese archery.
In addition to the core Gilman Scholarship, Shelby—who has a major in Japanese and a minor in Asian studies—received a supplementary Critical Need Language Award. Altogether, she received $8,000, the maximum amount possible.
Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a project that helps promote international education and understanding. For her project, Shelby will create a video that shows what day-to-day life is like as an exchange student at Tokyo Gakugei University. When she returns to Ball State for her senior year, she’ll show this video to prospective study abroad students in the Japanese Conversation Club.
In her career, Shelby plans to work as a translator in Japan. “This scholarship will help me reach my goal of fluency in Japanese, by allowing me to immerse myself in the language and culture,” said the Westfield, Ind., resident.
The federally-funded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program supports U.S. undergraduate students pursuing academic studies abroad, to better prepare them to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
September 2019: Over the summer, Parker Swartz, a May 2019 graduate of Ball State and the Honors College, received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, recognizing his excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and community service.
Parker, who was a middle attacker on the men’s volleyball team, graduated summa cum laude with an undergraduate major in advertising and minors in marketing and foundations of business. In the spring he was selected, out of all BSU intercollegiate athletes, to receive Ball State Athletics’ Scholar-Athlete Award.
In 2018 he was one of 96 athletes nationwide to be named to Team USA, which traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to compete in the first-ever International University Sports Federation America Games.
On Ball State’s campus, Parker was a key leader of Awaken, a new campus ministry, dedicating hundreds of hours to its success.
The Glen Ellyn, Ill., native is now pursuing an M.A. in Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State. The program will not only help him develop cutting-edge skills in advertising media, but it also will allow him to gain hands-on experience with grassroots organizations, as preparation for a career in advertising, specifically for global non-profits. “I love giving back to the world community,” said Parker, “and I think great advertising could have a profound effect on a lot of amazing organizations.”
A total of 126 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded each year, with 21 male and 21 female athletes selected for each sports season. The $10,000 scholarship must be used to support postgraduate studies.
August 2019: Emma Hartman, Keli MacDonald, and Olivia Peterson—all May 2019 BSU graduates—have been awarded positions with the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program for the 2019-2020 academic year! They departed for Japan in July and have each begun their year (or longer) as an Assistant Language Teacher in one or more schools, while also assisting with extracurricular and international exchange activities.
At Ball State, Emma Hartman completed majors in Japanese and English and a minor in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), as well as the Honors College curriculum.
“I am passionate about language, and the JET Program allows me to teach my students the power of English to make international connections and open up job opportunities,” said the Muncie native. “I want to help Japanese students experience the same life-changing benefits from studying English that I have enjoyed from studying Japanese.”
Emma, who studied in Japan for a year, eventually intends to teach English education at the university level in Japan.
Keli MacDonald, whose hometown is Zionsville, Ind., likewise had majors in Japanese and English and a minor in TESL. She studied in Japan for part of the summer of 2018 and credits her family, friends, and Ball State faculty for their support in her being selected to serve with JET.
“My late mother, Jodi, was the most incredible, widely-loved teacher I have ever known, and it means so much to me that I have the opportunity to continue what she started,” said Keli. “All I want to do in Japan is to help others grow while I myself grow alongside them.”
Olivia Peterson, a graduate of the Honors College, majored in art (animation), with minors in Japanese and Spanish at Ball State. As a JET participant, she looks forward to “giving back to students a love for language and culture.”
The Kokomo, Ind., native also hopes to implement some aspects of her animation expertise into her teaching, perhaps making a stop-motion film with her students. “I know that a whole new world of people and places are opening up to me in Japan, and I am ready and willing to take on this adventure,” said Olivia.
These three BSU alumnae are among more than 1,000 U.S. participants selected for the JET program this year. JET is sponsored by a coalition of Japanese government agencies and has sent nearly 36,000 U.S. citizens to Japan, to serve as teachers and public servants since its founding in 1987.
May 2019: Two BSU undergraduates have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad this summer!
Natalie Alatorre-Lagunes, who just completed her junior year with a major in Spanish education and a minor in entrepreneurial management, will study Spanish language and culture for three weeks in Granada, Spain.
“The Gilman Scholarship will allow me to become a better educator and give back to my future students, as it allows me to learn and teach different cultures authentically,” said the McHenryville, Ill., resident. “As a future educator, one of my objectives is to empower students to embrace their cultures as well as promote the languages and cultures of others.”
Philomena (Phil) Engel will use the Gilman Scholarship to support five weeks of study and travel in Greece, with courses in Greek mythology and philosophy and rhetoric. An Honors College student and rising senior, Phil has majors in classical languages (Latin and Greek), classical culture, and anthropology.
“Traveling to Greece will present me with an opportunity to actually see the ancient world and make connections between what I see and what I have read in class,” said Phil. “I want to read the works of Plato and Aristotle and discuss their ideas in the same geographical environment in which they originally lived.
Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a follow-on service project that helps promote international education and understanding.
Natalie plans to make several visits to her hometown high school, to mentor and discuss with students the importance of higher education and the many opportunities that international education and the Gilman Scholarship can provide.
Phil intends to give a study abroad presentation to high schoolers at the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, with the goal of sparking interest among students who otherwise might not consider studying abroad when they enter college.
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 2019: Gabe Prough, a sophomore majoring in geography, with a concentration in meteorology, has won an Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship!
An initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hollings Scholarship is awarded to sophomores who intend to pursue careers in oceanic and atmospheric science. Gabe will receive $19,000 over the next two years, as well as a 10-week paid internship at a NOAA facility in the summer of 2020.
“I hope to use this opportunity to gain further experience and learn even more about meteorology,” said Gabe, a Decatur, Ind., resident. “Most importantly, I want to use this experience to better the lives of those around me and both teach people about the weather and warn people when hazardous weather occurs.”
In addition to his geography major, Gabe has minors in telecommunications and emergency management and homeland security. In his career, he intends to focus on severe weather, helping to create a weather-ready nation and also to reduce the false-alarm rate for tornadoes and severe thunderstorm warnings.
At Ball State, Gabe is a broadcast weather forecaster for NewsLink Indiana Weather, and he also records brief forecast segments for Muncie’s PBS station.
Gabe is among approximately 120 sophomores nationwide to receive the Hollings Scholarship this year and is only the fourth BSU student ever to receive the scholarship.
May 2019: Junior Alex Quillin has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, which is considered the nation’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduates planning to pursue research-focused careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) fields.
Alex, who has a major in chemistry, with concentrations in biochemistry and professional chemistry, intends to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. After earning a Ph.D. in chemical biology, she plans to devote her career to researching drugs to combat type 2 diabetes.
At Ball State Alex is currently completing her second year of research on the protein mitoNEET, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Konkle, and she has worked as a teaching assistant in both chemistry classes and labs for several semesters. This summer she will intern at Roche Diagnostics, to help conduct research on test strips used to check blood glucose levels.
“When the chance came to work with Dr. Konkle, researching a protein in the mitochondria that could potentially play a role in diabetes, I leaped at the opportunity,” said the Greenfield, Ind., native. “I’m eager to discover more about the molecules that play a role in causing and combating diabetes.”
Alex is the eleventh Ball State student to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, along with nine others who have received honorable mention. She was one of 496 sophomores and juniors selected this year, from a pool of 1,223 students nominated by colleges and universities nationwide. The number of awards increased significantly this year—up from 211 in 2018—as the result of a Goldwater partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater. By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in STEM fields, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the nation needs in these critical fields. For more information, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org.
May 2019: Autum Auxier, a zoology major from Wolcott, Ind., has been awarded the Mary T. Carothers Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship, which will help support an intensive, four-week research internship in South Africa this summer. Autum, an Honors College student, is completing her junior year at Ball State.
At the Marine Hope Conservancy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Autum will participate in a plastic pollution study for which she will employ various methods of monitoring, collecting, recording, and analyzing information regarding the impact of plastic pollution on both marine mammals and birds. She will also create ecology lessons for local schoolchildren and teach them the importance of marine life.
“This will be a completely new experience for me, with many new techniques and skills to learn and utilize in my future career,” said Autum. “I will be participating in an incredible effort to protect many impressive creatures, which will hopefully affect populations throughout the oceans.”
At Ball State Autum has conducted extensive research on fish prey-capture behavior. After completing a PhD in marine biology, she plans to research the ways in which climate change affects changes in the behavior patterns of marine mammals.
The Mary T. Carothers Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship is awarded by the Garden Club of America and is intended to encourage studies and careers in the environmental field, giving undergraduates the opportunity to gain summer experience beyond the regular course of study. Only one scholarship is awarded nationwide each year.
April 2019: Two graduating seniors and one graduate student have received Fulbright U.S. Student Awards to support research or English teaching opportunities abroad during the upcoming academic year! Of the five other finalists from Ball State, one is currently an alternate.
Hannah Fluhler, an Honors College student who is completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing and pre-dance/movement therapy, along with a minor in dance performance, has been awarded a Fulbright to Melbourne, Australia. There she will help conduct research on Fanconi anemia (FA) at St. Vincent’s Institute, as part of a 12-person Genome Stability Lab team, under the supervision of a leading FA researcher.
During her 10 months in Australia, Hannah also plans to get involved with a local dance studio and to volunteer at the institute’s adjoining hospital. After her Fulbright year, the Yorktown, Ind., resident intends to pursue an MD-PhD or DNP-PhD, with the goal of becoming a researcher and health care provider for neonates and infants with critical, life-threatening illnesses.
At Ball State, Hannah has been an active volunteer and leader in many campus and community organizations, including Prism Project (helping children with intellectual disabilities experience dance, music, and theatre), BSU’s homecoming (as both Parade Chair and Homecoming President), and the local hospital’s NICU (where she has conducted research on opioid withdrawal and movement).
Hannah’s passion for Fanconi anemia research was the result of caring for a young child, Aria, who was born with the disease. “Being able to seek new treatment methods and potentially a cure for this particularly cruel disease means possibly giving adults and children like Aria more time with their families,” said Hannah of her upcoming research in Australia. “Being a small part of this would help me feel that Aria’s light is being carried on.”
Kellie Suttle, of Leopold, Ind., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Africa, beginning in January 2020, where she will tutor and co-teach university students, to help build their reading and writing skills.
Kellie completed her bachelor’s degree and Honors College diploma at Ball State in 2014, with majors in Japanese and creative writing and a minor in German. In July 2019, she will complete an MA in Ball State’s TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and linguistics program.
As an undergraduate, Kellie gained international experience through study programs in Japan and Germany, and as a graduate student she taught several ESL (English as a second language) courses. After her Fulbright year, she intends to continue teaching ESL before entering a PhD program in linguistics, with a focus on Bantu languages. She eventually plans to teach at the university level and conduct research in contrastive linguistics and language typology.
During her nine months in South Africa, Kellie intends to start a literary club for students, in which they will read and discuss American and South African literature, in order to promote cultural exchange. She also plans to study a Bantu language.
“This grant will give me a chance to learn a language I never thought I’d get a chance to, and to mentor young people in the community while doing so,” said Kellie. “I’m very excited to meet new people from a part of the world I’ve never visited before!”
Zach Wishart, a graduating senior with majors in history and social studies education, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Vietnam. There he will help high school or university students develop listening and speaking skills in English and participate in cultural exchange activities. Outside of the classroom, he intends to start a book club with students and study the Vietnamese language.
In addition to teaching experience gained through his social studies education major, Zach also served as an undergraduate teaching fellow for several history courses, worked as a Boy Scout camp counselor for six years, and volunteered with Motivate Our Minds in Muncie.
Zach, a Fishers, Ind., native, will begin his 10-month term in Vietnam in August. “This opportunity will allow me to further my own studies while helping promote education on an international level,” he said.
After his return to the US, Zach plans to enter an MA program in contemporary American history, teach at the high school level for several years, and eventually earn a PhD, in order to teach history and social studies education at the university level.
“I want to build on what I will have learned in Vietnam, as I continue to study and teach my peers and future students about the complex relationship between Vietnamese politics and American culture during the 20th and 21st century,” he said.
Jessica (Jase) Brown, also a graduating senior, has been named an alternate for the English Teaching Assistant program in South Korea. She has a major in English (creative writing) and minors in French, German, and TESOL.
Other finalists for the Fulbright were Jessi Beaver (ETA in Mexico), Sarah Hazen (ETA in Spain), Jonathan Isbill (master’s degree study in Italy), and Lyndie Mesina (ETA in Argentina).
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 140 countries. This year, Fulbright is awarding approximately 2,100 grants to U.S. students and recent graduates. Factors in the selection of awardees include the quality and feasibility of the proposed host country activities, academic record, personal qualifications (including communication skills for ETA applicants), and potential to serve as effective cultural ambassadors.
April 2019: Kalee Snorden, a Ball State junior in the Honors College, has been awarded a Udall Scholarship, in recognition of her leadership, service, and commitment to environmental issues! She is one of only 55 students nationwide to receive the $7,000 Udall Scholarship, which is given annually to outstanding undergraduates who are dedicated to environmental issues or Native American policy or healthcare.
Kalee, a wildlife biology and conservation major, with a minor in Spanish, intends to serve in the Peace Corps' Environmental Division before entering a master’s degree program in urban ecology. She will then pursue a career as an urban wildlife biologist and educator, with a special goal of providing opportunities for underserved youth to explore nature.
In August, Kalee will participate in Scholars Week in Tucson, Ariz., along with the other Udall Scholars, 38 of whom received the scholarship in the Environmental category. “Becoming an Udall Scholar connects me to a network of focused individuals who are eager to change the world for the better in whatever way they can,” she said.
During the summer of 2018, Kalee received a Cultural Vistas Fellowship, which funded an internship at Aves Argentina (in Buenos Aires), where she worked as an Environmental Education Intern. At Ball State she has been extremely active in The Wildlife Society (of which she is secretary and president-elect), various biology research projects, and service to environmental organizations in our region.
Kalee is now among 13 Ball State students who have received the Udall Scholarship since 2005. Seven other BSU students have been awarded Honorable Mention.
The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. Learn more at udall.gov.
February 2019: Drew Shaeffer, an Honors College sophomore, has received a Pi Delta Phi Scholarship to study in Canada this summer.
Drew, who has majors in French and marketing, as well as a minor in linguistics, will study French language and culture at the Ecole de Langue Française et de Culture Québécoise (ELFCQ) at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. The scholarship provides full funding for Drew’s experience in Chicoutimi, including a homestay.
“I am so thankful to have received a scholarship that will immerse me into a true francophone experience,” said the Virginia Beach, Va., native. “It is an opportunity for me to learn, understand, and practice a culture that has played such a large role in my studies.”
Pi Delta Phi is the National French Honor Society. Ball State established a chapter last year, and Drew is both the university’s first applicant and first recipient!
February 2019: Lydia Kotowski—an Honors College student with majors in political science and health policy—has been named a finalist for the Truman Scholarship!
After graduating from Ball State in 2020, Lydia will enroll in a joint MPH/JD program, in order to pursue a career dedicated to healthcare policy reform; her dream is to help make health insurance available to all citizens. Through the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, she is currently in the process of founding a new not-for-profit in Muncie—Beneficence Family Scholars, Inc.—with the goal of empowering single-parent families through “education, holistic support, and respect.”
The Truman Scholarship is awarded to the nation’s future change-makers—specifically to juniors who intend to pursue careers in public service and who want to create systemic change. They must possess extensive records of leadership and demonstrated commitment to public service. Lydia and other regional finalists will be interviewed in Chicago on March 11. Approximately 60 recipients will be announced in mid-April, at www.truman.gov.
Lydia, who is vice-president of Student Honors Council, was also recently awarded a full scholarship for the DC Internship program. She’ll intern through the Fund for American Studies Academic Internship Program this summer.
February 2019: Allie Hartman, a senior Honors College student, has been named a semi-finalist for the Critical Language Scholarship, which would allow her to study beginning Turkish in Azerbaijan for approximately 10 weeks this summer.
Allie has majors in classical languages (Greek and Latin) and classical cultures, with a minor in creative writing. Knowledge of Turkish would prove invaluable for her career in research and museum work, with a focus on ancient cultures of the Mediterranean region.
April UPDATE: Allie is now an alternate for the Critical Language
January 2019: Congratulations to the following eight students (pictured below, L-R), who’ve made it to the semi-finalist round for the U.S. Student Fulbright program!
- Jessi Beaver, senior, Spanish and psychology majors, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico
- Jessica Brown, senior, English major, for an English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea
- Hannah Fluhler, senior, nursing and pre-dance movement/therapy majors, for research in Australia
- Sarah Hazen, senior, Spanish major, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Spain
- Jonathan Isbill, MA student, nutrition and dietetics major, for graduate study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy
- Lyndie Mesina, senior, English and Spanish majors, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Argentina
- Kellie Suttle, MA student, linguistics/TESOL major, for an English Teaching Assistantship in South Africa
- Zachary Wishart, senior, history and social studies education majors, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Vietnam
Semi-finalist applications are now being considered by review committees in their host countries. Final decisions about recipients will be made and announced in the spring.
January 2019: Conner Zelmer, who graduated from Ball State in 2015 with a major in cultural anthropology, has received a MEXT Scholarship to support graduate studies and research at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, beginning in April 2019.
Awarded by the Japanese government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), the scholarship will fully fund two years of master’s degree study and research in sociology. Conner intends to conduct extended research on women’s agency, feminism, and family creation, with the hope that his research will address policies regarding “disproportionate female employment in professional fields, unequal pay, gender role expectations, and the childcare shortage.”
Conner, who has called both Granger, Ind., and Edwardsburg, Mich., “home,” has most recently worked as Program Assistant at Virginia Tech’s International Center in Blacksburg, Va. As a Ball State student, he spent a semester studying in Japan, and after graduating he completed a 15-month language program in Osaka.
“This scholarship has completely changed the course of my life,” Conner said. “It’s possible that I’ll spend years and years studying in Japan.” After completing his master’s degree, he anticipates remaining in Japan to complete a PhD.
Conner is one of approximately 4,000 recipients of the MEXT Research Student Scholarship this year. Another BSU alumnus, Jesse Taskovic (2016), was awarded the same scholarship in 2016 and is now in a master’s degree program at Tokyo Gakugei University.
The MEXT program offers various scholarships for both graduate and undergraduate study in Japan, ranging from one to five years of support.
January 2019: Four BSU undergraduates have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad this summer.
Honors College freshman Brendan Jones will use his Gilman Scholarship for four weeks of study in Costa Rica. Brendan, who is from Hammond, Ind., has majors in biology and Spanish and intends to become a neurosurgeon. In Costa Rica he’ll study anthropology, live with a Costa Rican family, and explore much of the country.
“The trip will not only will help me increase my Spanish-speaking skills,” said Brendan, “but I will also gain traveling and cultural experience” and “familiarize myself with the groups of people I aspire to help in my medical career.”
Chicago Ridge, Ill., resident Rhiannon Redinger, who has a major in wildlife biology and conservation and minors in sustainability and sustainable land systems, will spend three weeks in South Africa. There she’ll participate in a wildlife and conservation expedition, primarily in Kruger National Park, learning about African wildlife conservation and sustainable resource management.
Rhiannon, a sophomore who eventually wants to work for “a sustainable, eco-friendly company or nonprofit that promotes a greener society, community, and lifestyle,” said that this experience “will provide me with practical hands-on experience in the field and workshops that expand my skill sets.”
Maggie Sutton, an Honors College junior majoring in creative writing, will undertake a 12-week medical/ healthcare internship in Capetown, South Africa. Her exact assignment, to be determined, could involve research, public health outreach, or other healthcare experience. Maggie, who wants to become a psychiatrist, knows the opportunity will help prepare her for medical school.
“This may be the only time I will ever be exposed to a medical system outside of the United States,” said the Muncie resident, “and the lessons learned here could impact the way that I view medicine for the rest of my life.”
Junior Edlecia Ward, who has a major in exercise science/pre-physical therapy, will spend a month in Costa Rica. Based in San Jose at Veritas University, she will take courses in physical therapy and Spanish for health professionals, explore the culture and country, and live with a host family.
“Earning this scholarship gives me an opportunity that is not common for students with my major,” said the Chicago native. “I’m ready to discover more about myself while gaining an understanding of physical therapy through a different culture.”
Upon their return to the U.S., all Gilman Scholarship recipients are required to carry out a service project that helps promote international education and understanding.
- Brendan will return to his high school in Hammond, Ind., to give presentations to students in the college-readiness program and assist ESL students.He’ll also volunteer at a Chicago hospital.
- Rhiannon will create an activity plan for College Mentors for Kids (which connects BSU students and community children) to educate 4th- and 5th-graders on international education opportunities.
- Edlecia will present a vison board of her experiences in Costa Rica to Ball State’s Exercise Science Club and to an exercise science class.
- Maggie will create a promotional video that will appear on Ball State’s National and International Scholarships website and write an article for the Honors College’s newsletter.
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.