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Dean’s Scholar program expands

Aspiring to be osteoarchaeologists, federal prosecutors and museum curators, the latest cohort of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Scholars have big plans for the future.

Thanks to contributions from college donors, the seven recipients of this year’s Dean’s Scholar Award can also plan on being something else — experiential learners.

In addition to upping the total amount of the annual freshman merit award, the college is expanding what the scholarship includes. Compared to the $1,000 tuition scholarships students have received in past years, Dean’s Scholars will now receive $4,000 — $2,000 for freshman year tuition and $2,000 for experiential education during their junior or senior year.

“By increasing the amount of the award and expanding its purpose, we hope to not only help our outstanding students pay for their education, but also encourage them to study abroad, conduct research or fulfill their entrepreneurial goals,” said Jeff Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Using funding from its enhancement fund, the college created the Dean’s Scholar Award in 2012 to give top high school seniors another reason to make NC State their first choice. Since then, the college has recruited candidates to the program each year, inviting top achieving high school students to a special reception in the spring.

Eligible candidates must be accepted into a Humanities and Social Sciences major and demonstrate excellence in the classroom. Invitees often have a math and critical reading SAT score of at least 1300, a weighted GPA of at least 4.4, and a class rank in the top 10-12 percent.

Several of this year’s Dean’s Scholars say they arrived at NC State with hopes of studying abroad, so the expanded scholarship will help pay for their learning overseas. For other students, the funding will come in handy for specific research projects they have in mind.

Meet the 2015 Dean’s Scholars:

Megan Angevine, international studies

Angevine, of Cary, enjoys learning about languages and cultures, which led her to major in international studies, minor in Spanish and possibly add a second major in statistics through the Alexander Hamilton Scholars Program. International studies majors are required to study abroad, so Angevine said the Dean’s Scholar Award will offset her travel costs and allow her to save money for the trip. After graduating, Angevine plans to spend a year in the Peace Corps before moving to Washington, where she hopes to land a job at the Smithsonian or the United Nations.

Marissa Brinkman, psychology

Long fascinated by the human mind and patterns of behavior, Brinkman said NC State’s Department of Psychology provides an outlet to expand her knowledge of a broad and diverse field. In addition to helping her pursue her studies freshman year, the Dean’s Scholar Award will help her conduct specialized research when she’s a junior. Brinkman, who is from Cary, said she doesn’t have any specific plans after graduation, but plans to use psychology wherever her career takes her.  

Sarah Crawford, psychology

With interests in both the human mind and law enforcement, Crawford plans to study forensic psychology with the long-term goal of becoming a federal prosecutor. Since she also aspires to work overseas, Crawford, a Raleigh native, is considering pursuing a minor in international studies or a foreign language. She said the Dean’s Scholar Award will assist her in studying abroad.

Jessica Kronz, anthropology

With plans to study anthropology and bioarchaeology at NC State, Kronz hopes to better understand how to interpret messages instilled in skeletons. Kronz, of Clayton, said the Dean’s Scholar Award will help her and her family pay for tuition and will also provide an opportunity to study abroad. Her long-term career goal is to travel as an osteoarchaeologist, uncovering skeletons and lending her expertise to archaeological teams around the world.

Sandhya Kumar, political science

Kumar’s love for debating and discussing current events with her friends and family led her to major in political science at NC State. The Dean’s Scholar Award will help her fund research and study abroad as she expands her knowledge of the field. After graduating, the Cary native hopes to work for a nonprofit or start-up company before applying to graduate school.

Cate Rivers, English  

Rivers, of Raleigh, chose to study English with a literature concentration because reading is one of her favorite things. She said reading literature allows her to experience events and embrace perspectives that she would not otherwise likely encounter. Receiving the Dean’s Scholar Award is not only validating and encouraging, she said, but also makes her dream of studying abroad and earning a doctoral degree more feasible. While she’s not sure what she wants to do after graduation, Rivers said she plans to stay in academia, either as a professor, teacher, museum curator or a fiction writer.

Alyssa Vincent, English

Vincent, of Charlotte, considered several majors at NC State, but ultimately decided on English with a concentration in creative writing. It’s something she can pursue for hours and hours with interest, she said. With plans to double minor in art and design and technical and scientific communication, Vincent said the Dean’s Scholar Award is ideal for assisting her goals, current and future, known and yet-to-be-known. After graduation, Vincent said she can see herself going to graduate school, becoming a freelance writer or novelist, or writing in the science sector.

To support the Dean’s Scholar program, visit the Humanities and Social Sciences enhancement fund giving page.