Btown students making the mark

Churchill. Truman. Goldwater. Fulbright. Luce. The names read like a who’s who of some of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

They’ve also come to reflect the considerable academic prowess of IU Bloomington students and newly minted alums, who, in recent weeks, have earned several of the nation’s and world’s most prestigious and sought-after student scholarships.

Those students include:

  • Senior Kent Griffith, one of only 14 U.S. students to receive a Churchill Scholarship this year and one of only three recipients from public universities, which will enable him to pursue one year of graduate study in chemistry at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
  • Junior Rahaf Safi, named a 2013 Truman Scholar, one of only 62 undergraduates from 54 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the award. She’ll receive $30,000 for graduate study along with priority admission and additional aid at premier graduate schools.
  • Juniors Benjamin Seitzman and Jordan Venderley, who, along with IUPUI junior Jason Walsman, were awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, presented to the country’s most promising undergraduate students in math, science and engineering.
  • Andrew Morris, a 2012 graduate in Germanic studies and history, who received a Fulbright Award. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for overseas study and research projects and English teaching assistantships.
  • 2012 graduate Tarlise Townsend, named a Luce Scholar, one of 18 recipients of a nationally competitive award designed to enhance understanding of Asia for future leaders. She is the first person to be named a Luce Scholar after receiving an undergraduate degree from IU.
IU Bloomington senior Kent Griffith is one of only 14 U.S. students to receive a prestigious Churchill Scholarship this year.

IU Bloomington senior Kent Griffith is one of only 14 U.S. students to receive a prestigious Churchill Scholarship this year.

Several of these students were recognized during IU Bloomington’s annual Founders Day Honors Convocation, held earlier this month, which also honored approximately 3,300 Founders Scholars, the campus’ most academically distinguished undergraduates, who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or higher. Serving as student speaker at this year’s celebration was Kasey Greer, a senior history major from Plymouth, Ind., and a 2012 Beinecke Scholar, one of only 20 students nationwide to receive the honor last year.

Just last week, it was announced that IU junior Nathaniel Sims, a Hutton Honors College student majoring in linguistics and East Asian languages and cultures, became the ninth IU student to be named a Beinecke Scholar. An intern at the international Summer Institute of Linguistics, Sims will receive $4,000 immediately before entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

Finally this month, IU named its fourth-ever presidential intern, Catherine Krege, a sophomore majoring in international studies and Spanish and minoring in political science. Krege has been focusing her energies this spring on providing a student-driven perspective on recruitment and engagement in IU’s new School of Global and International Studies.

All told, it’s been a terrific time for those of us who take great pride in the remarkable academic achievements of our students, who continue to dazzle us with their intellectual curiosity, drive and determination to—like the Churchills, Trumans and Goldwaters before them, make a real difference in the world.

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