North Central College - Naperville, IL

National Student Scholarship

From Fulbright grants to Goldwater scholarships, many of the nation’s most prestigious and competitive academic awards have been earned by North Central students. These scholars are exceptionally high achievers, humanitarians and skilled researchers who thrive on academic excellence. Their hard work often reaps financial awards that help fund their future studies at some of the country’s top graduate, professional and medical schools.

Recent North Central recipients include:

  • Etienne Mashuli ’13 earned a prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Originally from Rwanda, Etienne demonstrated creativity, originality and initiative through his numerous efforts to promote genocide awareness. This prestigious national fellowship awarded Etienne $90,000 toward the pursuit of a master’s degree in African Studies at Yale University.
  • Maria Gommel ’13 received a 2012 Goldwater Scholarship—the highest national undergraduate award for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—for her combination of rigorous mathematics coursework and research in developing mathematical models to track infectious diseases. In recent years, North Central students have earned five Goldwater full scholarships or honorable mentions.
  • Mark Zajac ’12 won a Dunn Fellowship that allowed him to work as a policy fellow in Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s Chicago office. His strong academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, world travels and community involvement bolstered his application. He is the second Dunn Fellow from North Central in the last four years.
  • Emily Albright ’10 earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship that provided more than $100,000 toward her graduate education. She applied her award to the doctoral program in microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison over offers from Princeton and Harvard.

The College Honors Programs staff, as well as individual professors, can provide details and help guide you through the application process for these and other awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, the Rhodes Scholarship and more. Some awards require nomination by North Central College faculty; all are highly competitive and involve an extensive application process. Visit the College Honors Programs office (Rall House, room 26) for more information.

National Student Scholarship

During her junior year, Maria earned a Goldwater Scholarship—the highest national undergraduate award for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Her journey to a Goldwater began upon her arrival at North Central with a passion to learn and explore in research. The summer after her sophomore year, Maria conducted mathematical modeling research on epidemiology with Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Linda Gao and two other students. She further demonstrated her commitment to excellence in all areas of study through her participation in our College Scholars Honors Program.

In addition to mentoring Maria through the research process, North Central faculty provided valuable...

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