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Donors Help Top Students Reach Their Potential

Scholarship recipients Izzy Burger, Chelsea Creech and Janet Nguyen spoke at the 2014 Scholarship Luncheon.
Scholarship recipients Izzy Burger, Chelsea Creech and Janet Nguyen spoke at the 2014 Scholarship Luncheon.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences continues to grow as a destination college for talented, top-ranked students from across our state and beyond. Some impressive numbers are one indicator:  the class of 2017 boasts a 4.30 high school GPA (on a 5.0 scale) and an average 1211 SAT. More than 40% were in the top 10% of their high school class.

Merit scholarships play a critical part in attracting and retaining such students. This year, CHASS awarded more than 100 merit-based scholarships across all its disciplines. “Merit scholarships open the door to all kinds of opportunities for our students,” says CHASS Dean Jeff Braden. “They enable students to study abroad, to participate in unpaid internships, to further their research projects, and to take advantage of myriad opportunities on campus and in the community. They also provide financial assistance and incentive. Scholarships help prepare our undergraduate and our graduate students to be engaged citizens.”

Each year, CHASS hosts a scholarship event to congratulate merit scholarship students. The luncheon also gives many of those students the chance to thank the donors who made their scholarships possible. This year, more than 140 attended the event, making it the largest the college has held.

Izzy Burger holds the Guy Owen Memorial Endowed Scholarship in English. The award was created by friends and family of the former faculty member, who was a beloved teacher novelist, poet and editor. “Being included in the same sentence as an amazing, cherished poet like Guy Owen is thrilling,” the creative writing senior said in remarks she gave at the luncheon. “To receive an award in his honor is just indescribable. I want to write a poem about it, but I know it would seem plebian in comparison. And then there’s the feeling of being noticed, of having someone appreciate your craft to the degree that they want to encourage you to continue. That’s pretty amazing, too. … It makes such a huge difference.”

Chelsea Creech, a junior whose concentration is public relations, received the CHASS Advisory Board Scholarship that is supported by current and former board members. “Because of this scholarship, I am able to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams,” she told the audience. “I have fallen in love with new cultures and with this scholarship, I will study in Florence for six weeks this summer. I could not be more excited. This scholarship has made it possible for me to experience life how I always dreamed it would be.”

International studies senior Janet Nguyen is the recipient  of the Nonprofit Internship Award sponsored by Kristin Replogle. In addition to founding the first Asian-interest sorority on campus, Nguyen has become involved with various nonprofits and explored interests in cultural integration. Her scholarship allowed her to intern at Stop Hunger Now, where she helped organize a major meal packaging event for 700 volunteers. “With the financial support of the Nonprofit Internship Award, I was able to focus on my duties as a student and intern,” she told the gathering. “It allowed me to dedicate more time to my studies and not worry about juggling three part-time jobs and school as I had the previous semester. The award also helped me perform some of my internship tasks that required me to travel around the Triangle area to find funding for the meal packaging event.

“To me, the scholarship means that there is someone out there looking out for the success of students at NC State. As young students, we have the potential to become world leaders of tomorrow. The scholarship empowered me to do more and perform at my greatest without financial constraints. The scholarship means the success of the past, present, and future.”

Learn more about scholarship opportunities or call the CHASS Development Office at 919.515.5973.