Academic and Professional Achievements

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 21, 2019 – High Point University faculty, staff and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.

HPU Senior Named Semifinalist for Critical Language Scholarship

Kendal Karstens, a senior international relations major at HPU, has been named a semifinalist in the Critical Language Scholarship competition. The program is a fully funded, highly competitive opportunity for college graduates to study one of 15 critical need languages while living abroad. Recipients will be announced in March. A Presidential Scholar and Army ROTC cadet at HPU, Karstens previously studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in spring 2017 and hopes to study Russian through this program.

“Kendal has distinguished herself at HPU in her academic pursuits as well as through her record of service,” says Dr. John Graeber, assistant professor of political science. “With her interests in national security and prior experience in Russia, a Critical Language Scholarship to study Russian abroad would directly contribute to Kendal’s long-term professional goal of public service to our country.”

“Kendal is the epitome of a fully engaged HPU student,” says Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, director of the Office of Fellowships and Awards and assistant professor of English. “She is a scholar of international relations and the world, an ROTC cadet, a public servant, a leader, and a lover of languages. We could not be more excited for her success, and we know it is well deserved.”

Three Students Named Fulbright U.S. Student Program Semifinalists

Three HPU students have been named semifinalists in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition. Each of them is applying for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship abroad. Senior Kendal Karstens, an international relations major, is a semifinalist for the program in Belarus. She is an Army ROTC cadet at HPU and studied abroad previously in St. Petersburg, Russia. Senior Erica Schimmel, who is majoring in international relations, political science and French, is a semifinalist for the assistantship in Moldova. Schimmel is a writing tutor at HPU with a focus on ESL learners. Sarah Moss, who graduated in December 2018 with a degree in international relations and political science, is a semifinalist for the program in Armenia. Moss previously studied abroad in Israel and is working as a political/economic intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe stationed in Vienna, Austria. HPU’s Office of Fellowships and Awards has supported the students throughout the application process.

“Kendal is a model international relations program student, but where she really stands out is with respect to her demonstrated ability to perform at the highest level in the real world,” says Dr. Mark Setzler, professor of political science. “Whether it is studying abroad in Russia or leading her fellow ROTC students, she is someone who thrives in challenging situations. Kendal has accomplished so much while at HPU, but it’s obvious that she is going to see even more success as she transitions from college into a career in public service.”

“Erica is a model political science and international relations student who has distinguished herself both inside and outside the classroom,” says Dr. John Graeber, assistant professor of political science. “Between her remarkable aptitude for language acquisition and a unique compassion for tutoring her HPU peers and ESL learners in our community, a Fulbright fellowship to teach English in Moldova would be a fitting opportunity for Erica to develop herself professionally for a future career of international service.”

“Teaching and mentoring promising students like Sara Moss is what High Point University is all about,” says Dr. Larry Simpson, history professor. “Sara represents the best of a truly outstanding group of undergraduates. Her experiences in the classroom, working one-on-one with her professors, studying abroad in Israel, and currently undertaking an internship in Vienna have prepared her for a lifetime of personal fulfillment and community stewardship.”

HPU Senior Named Finalist for Humanity in Action Fellowship

Yasmene Dergham, a senior international relations and political science major at HPU, is a finalist for the Humanity in Action Fellowship. The highly competitive award prepares future leaders and promotes dialogue and understanding of the challenges democratic countries face as they become more diverse societies. Selected fellows join an international cohort and participate in a summer intensive at one of seven locations worldwide. They study minority rights while producing original research and complete a follow-up project after returning home. Dergham was previously selected as a Gilman Scholar (Morocco) and Boren Scholar (Jordan).

“Humanity in Action is an amazing opportunity, and it’s a perfect fit for Yasmene with her unfailing dedication to conflict resolution and minority rights,” says Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, director of the Office of Fellowships and Awards at HPU. “With her major, her minor, her leadership experience on campus and abroad, and her love of international affairs, Yasmene will thrive if offered a chance to study through Humanity in Action.”

Fraternity Recognized for Fundraising Efforts

HPU’s Sigma Nu fraternity was recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for its fundraising efforts. Paul Calkins, Sigma Nu president, and Jack Boyd, a 2018 HPU graduate, attended the Executive Kick-Off Breakfast for the 2019 Guilford Heart and Stroke Walk on Jan. 24, where the fraternity was announced as the top fundraising team for the walk. They also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of health care leaders.

“We would like to thank the American Heart Association of the Triad for the recognition of our philanthropy success. Jack and I had a great experience listening to the panel discuss health equity,” says Calkins. “Sigma Nu is founded on the pillars of love, honor and truth. Those three things have led to our philanthropic endeavors that we plan to continue. Our Fourth Annual Car Show is scheduled for Saturday, April 27. We would love to exceed our donation from last year and hope to have another great turn out.”

Journalism Student Selected to Participate in CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship

Courtney Wallen, an HPU senior, was recently selected to participate in the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship at WRAL to be held in March in Raleigh. Wallen was one of 12 students selected from across the nation. The selected students are interested in becoming professionals in the broadcast industry as producers, reporters, photojournalists and web editors. The five-day workshop is led by professionals of WRAL-TV and faculty members of the UNC School of Media and Journalism. Students will participate in producing reports and newscasts, as well as creating clips for their professional reels.

“I’m very excited to participate in the program,” says Wallen. “I’m looking forward to working with the amazing industry professionals at WRAL. I’m really excited to connect with other like-minded students, too. My time at HPU has primed me for this experience. I never would have gotten this opportunity if it weren’t for all that I’ve learned from my professors and mentors here.”

Pharmacy Students Receive CVS Health Scholarships

Maggie Deming, a second-year student, and Brittany McCoy, a third-year student in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy at HPU were recently selected by the School of Pharmacy to receive $500 CVS Health scholarships. Both students are working toward a career caring for patients in a community pharmacy setting.

“Maggie is a class leader and works tirelessly to keep her classmates informed about needs and opportunities,” says Ronald Ragan, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “She is always one of the first to volunteer when we need something in the school. She has been a pleasure to work with for all of our faculty and staff.”

Ragan went on to say this about McCoy: “Brittany has been a diligent student from the first day she joined us. It was not a surprise that she was the first student to complete an official pharmacy experience outside of the United States. She is bilingual and is an ambassador for the school and university.”

HPU Staff Member Named One of 40 Leaders Under 40

Na’tosha Brooks, department administrator for the Office of Student Success, is one of this year’s 40 Leaders Under 40 according to the Triad Business Journal. Brooks and other recipients will be recognized at an event on Feb. 21. At HPU, Brooks supports Student Success Coaches and works with students to help them connect with resources on campus. She previously was a special education teacher and served as the afterschool director at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Greensboro. She is also co-founder of The Birthing Movement Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young girls and women to plan, push and produce their purpose.

“I am most humbled by the blessing of this honor and to be viewed as a leader making a positive difference in the lives of others,” says Brooks. “My heart’s desire is to serve and empower others by making community contributions that have a lasting, global impact.”

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