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Wednesday, June 8, 2005
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Ohio University announces first class of Urban Scholars

ATHENS, Ohio (June 8, 2005) -- Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis announced the selection of the first class of 12 Urban Scholars today. The students, who come from a variety of backgrounds and are graduating from high school this year, are set to begin classes in the fall.

As planned, all of the incoming students are from Ohio, and most of the scholars are first-generation college students. The Urban Scholars Program provides a bridge between federal and state financial support and the total cost of attendance. Each scholarship is valued at $14,000.

"These are outstanding young people with tremendous potential to add to life on campus and make the most of their college experiences," McDavis said. "Many of the students said they want to attend Ohio University to reach their goals, and this scholarship program is offering them that opportunity."

More than 300 students expressed an interest in the program, and approximately 100 students from 37 high schools visited Ohio University as part of the Urban Scholars Visitation program. Following a review of student financial need information, 56 invitations to apply for the program were extended to students and 25 students were interviewed.

The Urban Scholars for the 2005-06 academic year include:

  • Micah Brown, Hughes High School in Cincinnati, plans to major in communications.
  • Catherine Cain, Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, plans to major in sports industry.
  • Maurice Clark, The Rayen School for the Arts in Youngstown, plans to major in audio engineering.
  • Steven Collier, Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati, plans to major in telecommunications.
  • Sherrell Davis, Northland High School in Columbus, plans to major in business/accounting.
  • Tiera Evans, Glenville High School in Cleveland, plans to major in business.
  • Arinze Ezepue, Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, plans to major in civil engineering.
  • Alyssa Green, Charles F. Brush High School in South Euclid, plans to major in pre-medicine.
  • Garret Kisner, Richmond Heights High School in Richmond Heights, plans to major in civil engineering.
  • Ashley Mitchell, Columbus Alternative High School in Columbus, plans to major in communications.
  • Angelic Pinckney, Linden McKinley High School in Columbus, plans to major in music education.
  • Michael Ward, Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, plans to major in music education.

The Urban Scholars Program is designed to increase the university's diversity by enhancing opportunities for Ohio's urban high school students to enroll and succeed at Ohio University. The program provides scholarship support for graduates of urban school districts who demonstrate excellent academic achievement and financial need.

Criteria include academic achievement as reflected by high school grades and college board tests scores, financial need, letters of recommendation and interviews for the 25 finalists.

To date, $900,352 in gifts and pledges has been raised to fund Urban Scholars. Eventually, the Urban Scholars Program will recruit 100 new scholars annually. Initially, the program is targeting students in Ohio's metropolitan areas, but it will eventually branch out to other cities in the nation.

This program is designed to target that tier of students who sometimes get missed as universities compete for the top percentage of members of underrepresented student populations.

"This innovative approach allows the university to focus on some of its diversity challenges in a unique way. By offering scholarships to students from Ohio's inner cities who really want to go to college and want the opportunity to succeed, we renew our commitment to promoting an atmosphere where understanding and accepting cultural differences is a top priority," McDavis said.

The five Ohio urban areas targeted for the first class include Akron/Youngstown, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton.

G. Christine Taylor, interim assistant to the president for diversity, coordinates the program. Alumni in urban areas, were instrumental in identifying, recruiting and interviewing potential Urban Scholars.

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