By George Mauzy
Ohio University will host seven Appalachian Scholars and four Urban Scholars in next fall's freshman class.
Ohio University president Roderick J. McDavis and his wife, Deborah, established both scholarships to increase diversity and to create opportunities for students who might not have a chance to attend college any other way.
"Deborah and I believe so strongly in the Urban Scholars and Appalachian Scholars programs and the opportunity it affords to students who want a higher education degree. We are very pleased with the success of these programs and the positive impact they are having on students," said McDavis.
The Appalachian Scholars program, which began in 2006, is a need-based $10,900 scholarship that provides college opportunities to students from Ohio's Appalachian school districts who demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation to succeed, academic achievement and financial need.
The Chillicothe, Southern and Zanesville regional campuses will each award one new Appalachian scholarship for the fourth consecutive year, while the Eastern campus will become the first regional campus to host two new scholars in one year. The Athens campus also will host one new Appalachian scholar next year. Additionally, the Lancaster campus is participating in the program for the first time by providing one scholarship to a student from Appalachia.
Rich Greenlee, interim dean of the Eastern campus, said his campus was able to offer an additional Appalachian scholarship by redirecting some scholarship money.
"I've been involved with the Appalachian Scholars program since it began and feel strongly about supporting it during these tough financial times," Greenlee said. "Our search came down to two outstanding candidates that we could not decide on, so we decided to offer both of them an opportunity to succeed."
The newest Appalachian Scholars are: Athens Campus, Devin Wheeler, Buckeye Trail High School, Freeport, Ohio; Chillicothe Campus, Nicholas Eldridge, Vinton County High School, Ray, Ohio; Eastern Campus, Jon Taya Solomon, Steubenville High School, Steubenville, Ohio; Jennifer Haren, Buckeye Local High School, Dillonville, Ohio; Lancaster Campus, Aimee Myers, Sheridan High School, Somerset, Ohio; Southern Campus, Luke Simpson, Rock Hill High School, Ironton, Ohio; Zanesville Campus, Margo Williamson, Philo High School, Duncan Falls, Ohio.
Ohio University has 30 Appalachian Scholars enrolled this spring quarter, including Erin Shipbaugh, who will become the first Appalachian Scholar to graduate in June after completing her degree requirements in three years.
The Urban Scholars program, which consists of 41 students this spring, was created to provide opportunities for Ohio's urban high school students to enroll and succeed at Ohio University. It provides a bridge between federal and state financial support and the total cost of attendance and is valued at more than $14,900 per year. The program, established in 2005, will graduate its first eight scholars this June.
The newest Urban Scholars, all of whom are from Cleveland, are Justin Dean, Collinwood High School; and Demarcus Fry, Ashli Walters and Shanetha Williams of John Hay Early College High School.
Brian Bridges, vice provost for diversity, access and equity, said both programs remain key components to university efforts to enrich the campus environment with more student diversity.
"The scholarships we are able to award during these difficult economic times, along with our continuing commitment to currently enrolled students in these programs, are a testament to Ohio University's dedication to the continued success of these scholarships and their accompanying programs," Bridges said.
"Ohio University has made it a priority to maintain and to increase scholarships and student aid packages so we can ensure opportunities and access to education for our students for generations to come," said Howard R. Lipman, vice president for university advancement and president and CEO of the Ohio University Foundation.
For more information about these scholarships, visit www.ohio.edu/opportunity.
This release was edited on June 12, 2009 for accuracy.