Oct. 17, 2007
By Mary Reed and Katie Taybus | Photos by Rick Fatica
For Ohio University's Templeton Scholars, the rigorous evaluation is over. They've written their essays, been subjected to interview after interview, and in the end, made the grade. Now it's time to really get to work.
The Templeton Scholarship program was created not only to attract exceptional students from underrepresented groups to Ohio University, but to keep them here and help them thrive. Whether you look at retention, grades or service, it's easy to see the program is working.
"Most of the students are successful in the program," says Greta Oliver, assistant director of academic support and outreach for the Office for Diversity. "This may be due to the strength of their high school curricula and their personal attitudes toward success that have already been refined throughout their lives."
Oliver adds that the campus as a whole benefits from having the Templeton Scholars here. "The real deal is that they have so much to add to the culture because of their diverse backgrounds and experiences. And in the classroom setting, the differing viewpoints between groups aid in more intellectual discussions."
The program is named in honor of Ohio University's first African-American graduate, John Newton Templeton, who received his undergraduate degree Sept. 17, 1828. He was the fourth African-American to graduate from college in the United States and the first in the Northwest Territory. The Templeton Scholarship covers the cost of tuition, room, board and books. This year, that's estimated at $18,495.
The Templeton Scholars program promotes personal, social, cultural and academic excellence as well as professional development. Creative programming for scholars helps to achieve these goals. Programs include regular roundtable discussions, the opportunity to complete an undergraduate research project, community service and mentoring -- by both faculty and peers.
This year's freshman class has big shoes to fill. Ohio University's Templeton Scholars have participated in many community service projects and tackled some of today's most controversial subjects, including affirmative action and homelessness. Previous scholars have met with NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, author Michael Eric Dyson and retired Iowa school teacher Jane Elliott, who created the famous blue eyes/brown eyes exercise.
In their own words
|My name: Amanda Muschlitz |
Dream job: Photojournalist at National Geographic
Unknown talent: Storytelling
Most excited about: Classes and making connections
Favorite book: "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" by Milan Kundera
Important issue: Working toward developing a selfless society
|My name: Jalyssa Eliasen|
Accomplishment: Surviving AP chemistry and never giving up on the hard stuff
I admire: My brother, who travels the world in search of opportunity and adventure
I miss: My parents' accents
Nervous about: The amount of studying and making new friends
Best advice: Success is not so much a matter of brilliance as it is a matter of perseverance and determination.
|My name: Mary Smith|
Best advice: Think big, act small
Important issue: Going green and caring about the environment
Dream job: Homemaker
Unknown talent: Dancing
Dream ambassadorship: Kuwait, because women there still don't have the right to vote
|My name: Carina Turner|
Favorite teacher quality: Making class so fun that I forget I'm learning
Best advice: Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet
Important issue: Tolerance and appreciating one another as people instead of ideas
Dream job: Director of a physical therapy clinic for underprivileged children
Complete the statement: People think I'm gifted, but I'm really just determined.
|My name: JaLisa Elkins|
Best advice: To just be myself and not worry what others think of me
Superpower I wish I had: Reading minds
My vote for president: Barack Obama
Favorite movie: "Transformers"
Most excited about: Meeting new people and experiencing everything college has to offer
|My name: Ebony Hodges|
Favorite teacher quality: Challenging, friendly and someone who demands respect
I admire: Venus Williams
The class I can't wait to take: African American Studies 101: Black Media
Dream job: Sports broadcaster for ESPN
Unknown talent: Singing
|My name: Allen Henry|
Accomplishment: State student officer for the Ohio Educational Theatre Association
I admire: My mom. She is the most selfless woman I know, and she reminds me every day to be grateful for the opportunities of life.
Dream job: To anchor a nightly news telecast
Most excited about: Meeting people from various backgrounds and cultures so that I can learn more about them and, in a sense, more about the world I live in
Why I'm at Ohio University: An excellent journalism school, a beautiful campus, a friendly faculty
|My name: Joe Reinhart|
Best advice: Know your goals
Would like to research: New planets
My vote for president: John McCain
Most excited about: Being on my own
Most nervous about: Ditto
Coming soon: Outlook introduces this year's Urban scholars next Wednesday.