Hiram College and several other local colleges and universities are working together to increase the number of Northeast Ohio undergraduates obtaining competitive national and international awards, such as the Fulbright, Rhodes and Goldwater Scholarships.
Through the newly established Western Reserve Consortium for National Scholarship Advancement, Hiram will work with John Carroll University, Malone University, the University of Akron and Walsh University. Students studying in Northeast Ohio are currently underrepresented when it comes to these scholarships, said Sandy Madar, professor of biology at Hiram College and Director of Strategic Academic Initiatives. This partnership represents an effort to keep more academically excellent undergraduates in the region, and to launch their careers after graduation.
“For students, these scholarships are incredibly prestigious and open many doors” Madar said. “Using them to advance your education or accelerate your career preparation is a huge advantage. And these honors and the opportunities they provide continue to have impact throughout the rest of their careers.”
The partnership will allow the involved colleges to share resources.
“For example, if we know there’s a student who wants to do a Fulbright in Kazakhstan, we can ask who, among these campuses might connect them to people and organizations there,” Madar said. “If Hiram doesn’t, maybe Malone does. We’ll be networking across these campuses to make sure students get the best advice.”
Madar said the consortium hopes to hire a single director who float across the five campuses each month. That director will work with a faculty director on each campus to advise students who are interested in these opportunities, and to increase faculty awareness about them.