April 25, 2010 - 10:00 PM
On Friday, I had the great honor of joining other high-achieving scholars from the University of Oregon at a reception to discuss distinguished scholarship opportunities. The reception was held in the Browsing Room of the Knight Library.
It was a lot of fun being able to come to this event because I was finally able to put a face to several of the amazing people at the UO who helped to find funding for my internship this summer. I also recognized several of my peers, many of which were fellow Honors College students. I found myself very inspired by being in a room with so many incredible people who truly care about good education.
After we had all had time to mingle and grab some snacks, the presentation began. Dave Hubin, Senior Assistant to the President, spoke and introduced all of us to the new webpage for information on distinguished scholarships. Dr. Hubin has a true investment in increasing the amount of support available to students who wish to pursue these types of prestigious scholarships.
Next, we heard from President Richard Lariviere . President Lariviere also expressed an interest in helping high achieving students like ourselves be successful with these scholarships. He also recognized some of this year's distinguished scholars. I was very honored and humbled to have been recognized. Along with myself, the following other students were acknowledged for their achievements this year: Patricia McQueen (Goldwater recipient), Tamela Maciel (Marshall recipient), Ben Eckstein (Truman finalist), and Robbie McNulty (Hollings recipient).
The event continued with different speakers who discussed the process for some of the distinguished scholarships students could apply for. Some of the scholarships talked about were the Fulbright, the Marshall, the Mitchell, the Rhodes, the Rotary, the Truman, and the Goldwater. We also learned that there are several others that can be looked at in more detail on the new website.
It was nice to receive this kind of overview on some of the opportunities that are out there. I think it was really important that the speakers continued to mention that students need to think about applying for these types of competitive scholarships at least a year in advance. If I could give advice to incoming freshmen, it would be to start getting involved in a diverse range of activities at the beginning of their time here at the UO. I know that part of my being awarded an internship with The Carter Center was because of my preparation throughout the last four years. I have used my time at the UO to polish my skills and apply them to meaningful work.
At the end of the reception, President Lariviere left us with what he said was his guarantee. He said, "I guarantee you that you will not get one of these scholarships if you do not apply." This made me think about my application process with The Carter Center. I remember having doubts about applying for it because I knew it was competitive and a long shot. If I had not applied for the position, I would not be going to Atlanta this summer to meet a former president.
Overall, I think that the reception was a great start to encouraging more students to consider these types of academic programs. I hope to see these types of efforts in the University expand within the upcoming years.
The UO is not technically an "Ivy League" school, but it has a pool of talented students that is undeniably comparable. I would love to see more Ducks receive these honors.