Students and Faculty Honored at Prestigious Scholarship Reception

April 21, 2008

Rollins Scholars

Prestigious Scholarship honorees and student supporters:
(From left to right) Back row: Tanisha Mathis, Nikkia Gumbs, Jessica Drew, Laurie Stephey, Michelle Tanyhill, Clayton Ferrara, Nicholas Horton Front row: Crystal Engert, Shannon Brown, Priyanwada Ekanayake, Austin Connors, Fay Pappas

On April 16, the Office of External and Competitive Scholarship Advisement held a prestigious scholarship reception to recognize the students, faculty and administrators who participated and supported the application process of prestigious scholarships.

This year, 20 students applied for 12 different prestigious scholarships. At the luncheon held in their honor, President Lewis Duncan offered his sincere appreciation and congratulations to the students for all their hard work. “Today we spend so much time working on the problems of an institution,” Duncan said. “So it is appropriate that we are taking time today to celebrate our students. At the end of the day, a college is nothing more than its graduates going out into the world.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost Roger Casey offered his thanks to the students and faculty who supported them as well. He stressed that all the hard work the students have put in has a much longer-lasting impact than even receiving a scholarship. “This process of applying for these scholarships, even if you don’t receive one, gives you the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about yourself,” Casey said.

In honor of the dedication to the pursuit of passion and excellence the students demonstrate, Professor of Physics Donald Griffin was chosen to close the reception as someone on campus who exemplifies a life of scholarship. After teaching at Rollins for 38 years, he said he still gets up excited about what he does. “Students like you change our lives as teachers,” Griffin said. “Learning is all about being engaged, which I can see you are. Education is hard work but the rewards are much better than good grades.”

The Office of Student External and Competitive Scholarship Advisement helps students and alumni prepare for a wide variety of highly competitive and prestigious graduate scholarships. These scholarships are mostly funded by the government or private agencies, external to Rollins College; they salute academic achievement, leadership, and public service. Because outstanding undergraduates from across the country vie for these scholarships, competition is intense. The office coordinates student applications for fellowships, scholarships, awards and prizes requiring university nomination, review or endorsement.

While the notification process continues through the month of June, two students have already been honored with awards: Nicholas Horton received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Sally Woods received the Fulbright Scholarship. Nikkia Gumbs is a finalist for the Fulbright Scholarship and is awaiting notification. Fay Pappas was named a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Students who applied for various scholarships such as the American Graduate Fellowship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship include:
Hillary Serra
Erica Tibbetts
Nolan Kline
Crystal Engert
Steve Miller
Patrick McKelvey
Derek McIver
Raymond Nazario
Tanisha Mathis
Michelle Tanyhill
Bryan Poynter
Priyanwada Ekanayake
Laurie Stephey
Shannon Brown

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