April 20, 2005
He's described as a one-of-a-kind student, and now Travis Glendenning has received a one-of-a-kind award to match.
Glendenning, a senior from Lancaster, Ohio, has been selected as the state of Ohio's only James Madison Junior Fellow.
Congress established the James Madison Memorial Fellowship in 1986 to assist secondary-school teachers who want to pursue advanced coursework on the U.S. Constitution. Current teachers compete with college seniors for the $24,000 award designed to support graduate study.
Glendenning is majoring in adolescent/young adult education with a concentration in integrated social studies. He plans to teach social studies after completing graduate studies.
Professors say he has an impressive intellect and dedication to teaching.
"In the seven years I have been here, I have worked with approximately 120 undergraduate students a year, and Travis is one of a handful who truly stands out," said Dianne Gut, associate professor of teacher education. "Travis possesses a unique combination of qualities, including strong leadership, intelligence, insightfulness, sensitivity to students and a wonderful sense of humor."
Candidates for the award are evaluated based on academic achievement, teaching philosophy, career goals and an essay about the importance of the Constitution. Usually only one fellow is selected per state.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Barry Tadlock, who taught and mentored Glendenning, said he merits the award.
"Once in a while you have a student who brings a classroom to life," Tadlock said. "Travis is one of those students. He enrolled in my courses on legislative processes and the American presidency and each time brought a spark that very few students possess.
"I know he aims to be a teacher," he added. "His future students will be greatly rewarded."
Glendenning will pursue graduate studies in political science at Miami University during the next two years.