Students at John Brown University are preparing themselves for the nerve-wracking scholarship application process, and there is help for them on campus.
On Oct. 9, Brad Gambill, associate professor of English, will be holding a Prestigious Fellowship Workshop. “It’s just an info session on Prestigious Fellowships; these are external scholarships you can get. They are highly competitive; you are competing with students across the country.”
Seeing JBU students apply for Prestigious Scholarships is something that Gambill dedicates his time to.
“When I first became Honors Director in 2005, I noticed that we didn’t have students applying for these types of awards, whereas schools like U of A have dozens of candidates applying. So I wanted to start pushing the awards, making students know they are available.”
The workshop will focus on explaining both the Truman Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship.
According to the Truman Scholarship website, truman.gov, the scholarship takes its name from President Harry S. Truman. The website states this scholarship looks for students who are “committed to public service leadership.” Students applying for this scholarship must have a focus on becoming a “change agent” in non-profit organizations.
The Truman Scholarship receives over 600 applicants a year who strive for one of the 55 to 65 scholarships the foundation awards. The Truman Scholarship awards $30,000 to students who meet the scholarship’s expectations.
The Goldwater Scholarship website, goldwater.scholarsapply.org, says that the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served in the military for 56 years and the U.S. Senate for 30 years.
“For the Goldwater Scholarship you can apply sophomore or junior year, and you get $7,500 for the following year,” Gambill said. “The Goldwater is for students in the STEM fields so science, technology, and engineering fields. You have to have done some research to be qualified for that one.”
Gambill said he is excited about the students who are interested in the scholarships, but he would love to see more students going after these awards in future years.
“We are still trying to get the word out on these scholarships,” he said. “We will go a year without having any apply, but then the next year we will have quite a few.”
At the meeting there will be former candidates discussing their experiences with the scholarship program.
Gambill believes that whether or not a student wins the scholarship, there is still something they can learn.
“My experience has been that this is a great process for people to go through even if they don’t get the award,” Gambill said. “It forces them to really understand who they are and what they want for their future. So in a sense I wish all JBU students could go through this process.”