Oct. 10, 2007
By Mary Reed and Katie Taybus
You might think that a four-year undergraduate scholarship that provides a stipend to cover room and board along with special colloquia for recipients is an opportunity of a lifetime. You would be right. Now add a summer enrichment program every year -- each of which is an opportunity of a lifetime in itself -- and you've got the Cutler Scholars Program.
The Ohio University Manasseh Cutler Scholars Program selects a handful of students each year who show outstanding achievement academically and evidence of personal integrity, physical stamina and community involvement. These criteria are similar to those applied by the internationally prestigious Rhodes scholarship program.
The scholarship is valued at $21,000 per year for each student. Students cannot apply to become Cutler Scholars; personnel at eligible secondary schools, Ohio University colleges or sponsoring organizations nominate them.
Summer enrichment programs include an Outward Bound wilderness experience, a community/public service experience, a business management internship and a work/study abroad experience. Cutler Scholars have worked and volunteered on projects from an archaeological dig in Ireland to a biosphere expedition in the Amazon.
"These are very exceptional young people. I love to see the change in them over four years at OU," says Jeanette Grasselli Brown, a Cutler Scholar sponsor and Ohio University alumna. "These will become the future leaders of our nation, of our own communities."
Since its inception in 1996, the Cutler Scholars Program has been preparing students to go out and make the world a better place. Allison Norwood, a 2001 grad now living in Chicago and completing a medical residency in pediatrics, can't say enough good things about her Cutler Scholar experience. "I've encountered other students and people in training who have come from ‘better recognized' institutions, (and) trained at schools that are more nationally known than Ohio University," she says. "But I think the Cutler Scholars program has given me a background in world relations and people relations in a way that I feel like an equal (to) these other people I've met along the way."
In their own words
My name: Jamie Smith
My scholarship: Lizabeth and Charles R. Emrick Jr. Cutler Scholar
I admire: anyone who strives to change the world, no matter how small the change
Hope to achieve: going outside my comfort zone and meeting different people
Excited about: finally having some independence
Favorite movie: "Singing in the Rain." It's a classic -- no one can dance like Gene Kelly!
Dream job: Being a foreign correspondent or writing for National Geographic
My name: Lindsay Cheek
My scholarship: Ann Lee Hancock Konneker Cutler Scholar
Accomplishment: maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout high school
Best advice: Learn to love who you are, because no matter where life takes you, you'll be there.
Why I chose Ohio: a wonderful atmosphere that I fell in love with immediately
Hope to achieve: the ability to challenge myself every day, intellectually and socially
Important issue: the media and how we are impacted by it
My name: Nathaniel Alexander McGrath
My scholarship: Dr. James H. and Nellie Rowley Jewell Cutler Scholar
Nervous about: doing everything on my own
Unknown talent: I'm a really good singer -- in the shower at least!
Dream job: working at a wildlife institute or chasing storms
Favorite book: the Bible
Hope to achieve: good study habits to get me through the next four years
My name: Spencer McNeil
My scholarship: Wilfred R. Konneker Cutler Scholar
Looking forward to: International Studies classes. I love learning
about other cultures and languages.
Favorite book: "The Old Man and the Sea"
Best advice: Calm down!
Hope to achieve: good friends, both peer and faculty
Most excited about: the amount of things to do -- from club sports to a multitude of classes
My name: Brittni Downs
My scholarship: College of Business/Executive Advisory Board
Most excited about: being part of the Marching 110
Dream job: to be an attorney at a small business
Unknown talent: I know a lot of information about New Zealand rabbits.
Favorite book: "The Da Vinci Code"
Superpower I wish I had: the ability to read minds
My name: Lacey Adkins
My scholarship: Leona and Lewis Hughes Cutler Scholar
Admires: My parents, because no matter what has happened in my life they're the ones that got me through it
Nervous about: Being away from home and keeping my grades up
Dream ambassadorship: Italy. They have a great culture and I love the language.
My vote for president: Barack Obama
Favorite movie: "Flags of Our Fathers"
Coming soon: Outlook introduces this year's Templeton and Urban scholars on each of the next two Wednesdays.