The Office of Scholar Development will host a celebration during Homecoming on Friday in recognition of its 10th year on campus.
OSD has been recognized as a Fulbright top-producing institution for the last four consecutive years and five years overall. Since 2008, over 50 WKU students and alumni have received the grant.
According to Fulbright’s website, the program is “the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.”
Melinda Grimsley-Smith, the coordinator of international scholarships for OSD, said OSD focuses on experience and expertise when it comes to scholarship advising. They take the students’ skills and interests and see how they can apply it to specific scholarships, emphasizing the importance of faculty mentorship, research, campus engagement, study abroad, and internships.
“Students at WKU are lucky to have amazing faculty mentors available across campus, and those relationships are critical when it comes to apply for an award like Fulbright,” said Grimsley-Smith.
OSD helps students with a variety of scholarships, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, National Science Fellowship Graduate Research Fellowship, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships and more. Cory Dodds, the coordinator of nationally competitive scholarships, said there are options for almost every major and degree program. These scholarships allow students to study abroad, research, and attend graduate school.
“For almost every interest or issue, there is probably a national scholarship or opportunity related to it,” said Dodds.
This year, WKU was also recognized as a top producer for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Achievements related to this scholarship include diversity in study abroad among minorities, along with aiding first-generation college students and STEM majors, according to OSD’s website.
Audra Jennings, the director of the Office of Scholar Development, said she hopes in the future they can reach a wider audience of WKU students.
“We know that many Hilltoppers dream big, and we want to connect with those students to help make those dreams reality,” Jennings said.
The homecoming celebration will take place from 2-6 p.m. on South Lawn and will include food and beverages. WKU students will have the opportunity to speak and network with alumni who have previously applied for scholarships through OSD.
News reporter Natasha Breu can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Natasha on Twitter @nnbreu.