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Presidential Leadership Program

Ripon College has taken initiatives to foster the extraordinary talent and academic interests of its students. The Presidential Leadership Program is a unique mentored cohort program that provides opportunities for outstanding Ripon College students to pursue personal achievement, professional development, and academic excellence. Students apply for the Presidential Leadership Program in the spring semester of their first year at Ripon College. Successful applicants participate in a 1-credit course during both semesters of their sophomore year. Cohort activities continue throughout a student’s remaining two years at Ripon.

Catalyst for Change

During both semesters of the sophomore year, students will participate in a 1-credit course entitled “Catalyst for Change.” Building upon the skills developed in the Catalyst Curriculum and in other courses at Ripon, this course will focus on developing the leadership skills needed to be an effective change-agent in the community. Students will employ a social change model of leadership to design and implement community engagement projects, with the goal of having a marked impact on the local region.

Special Events

Students in the program will also be invited to attend special events as they occur throughout the year. This will include “Book Club” discussions with President Messitte, VIP dinners and receptions, and opportunities to interact with faculty, invited speakers, special guests, and members of the College’s Board of Trustees. To support their professional and scholarly development throughout their time at Ripon College, program participants will have regular individual advisory meetings with the President and program coordinator, as well as opportunities to engage with previous program cohorts. Finally, participants will be encouraged to take advantage of programming by the Center for Career and Professional Development and the National Scholarship Advisors.

Selection Criteria

Applications to the Ripon College Presidential Leadership Program will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Strength and breadth of fall academic performance (minimum GPA of 3.5 required)
  • Good standing within the campus community
  • Quality of application statement
  • Breadth and depth of non-academic experience
  • Strength of faculty reference

National Scholars Program

Besides internal programs to strengthen the competence of the students, Ripon assists students to pursue opportunities in national and international level. The Ripon College National Scholars Program identifies and cultivates exceptional candidates for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, grants and awards. The program provides specialized faculty advisers, workshops, networking opportunities and a variety of other resources to help Ripon’s most extraordinary students compete for America’s most prestigious academic honors.

The internal scholarship competition for these honors occurs each year in March. The national scholarship faculty advisors will evaluate the applications to determine whether candidates will be invited to advance to the national competition. Applicants will be notified of their status by the middle of April. If selected, the respective faculty advisor will work with applicants to craft the full application package.

Scholarship Profiles

The brief scholarship profiles provided on this web site are designed to help you identify programs for which you may be eligible. If you decide to move forward in applying for a particular program, it is imperative that you contact the Resident Faculty Advisor to learn about the program’s mission, selection criteria, application procedures, and deadlines.

The National Scholarship Candidates Handbook (PDF) provides general guidance for students hoping to compete for major academic awards. It is never too early to begin developing yourself as a candidate for national scholarships. Decisions you make and opportunities you take during your first and second year in college may well position you for recognition as a senior.

Ambassadorial Scholarships Program of the Rotary (Undergraduate)

Scholarship website

The Ambassadorial Scholarships Program of The Rotary Foundation is the world’s largest privately funded international scholarship program. Through grants totaling approximately $500 million, recipients from some 70 countries will study in more than 70 different nations. While abroad, scholars serve as ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to greater understanding of their host countries.

Adviser: Dr. Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College and professor of politics and government (Carnegie Building, ext. 8742)
Amount of Award: up to $26,000
Application Period: Jan. 1 through July 15

Associated Colleges of the Midwest Graduate School Exploration Fellowships (Undergraduate)

“The ACM and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) have embarked on a seven-year initiative to address barriers to faculty diversity in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and arts, especially in the context of liberal arts colleges.

Supported by an $8.1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate will create new structures for collaboration between undergraduate and graduate programs at the 14 liberal arts colleges in the ACM and the 15 research universities in the CIC, which includes the members of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago.

>>>>Graduate School Exploration Fellowships – The grant funds fellowships that will provide approximately 280 students at ACM colleges with a robust set of mentoring, career development, and experiential research opportunities beginning in the fall of their junior year. The Fellowships will include a paid summer research internship on a CIC campus, with fellows working directly with a graduate professor in their field to give them firsthand experience with the benefits of graduate training. The program will involve all qualified students and will make special efforts to encourage participation by students from underrepresented backgrounds.” Visit the following link for more information: http://acm.edu/our_collaborations/Undergraduate_and_Faculty_Fellows_Program_for_a_Diverse_Professoriate.html.

Additional information about this exciting new fellowship opportunity will be announced throughout the year.

Council of American Overseas Research Center Fellowships


Among the many opportunities provided by CAORC is the Critical Language Scholarship Program. In its inaugural year, 2006, the Program offered intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2007, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian institutes were added along with increased student capacity in the inaugural language institutes. Scholarship recipients – U.S. citizen undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students and recent graduates – receive funding to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers and affiliated partners. Recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 736
Amount of Award: tuition, living expenses, travel costs
Deadline: Jan. 30

David Boren Fellowships


The National Security Education Program’s (NSEP) David L. Boren Fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to add an international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. NSEP Boren Fellowships are intended to support US graduate students who will pursue the study of languages and cultures deemed critical to US national security, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government. Fellowships enable both master’s and doctoral level students representing a broad range of academic and professional disciplines to add a significant language and international dimension to their curricula. The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient will work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities.

The NSEP National Flagship Language Program seeks to support graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of fluency in one of many languages critical to US competitiveness and security. Flagship programs are now available in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Korean, Persian/Farsi, and Eurasian Languages (Russian, Central Asian). Award recipients are bound by a service requirement similar to that given for the Boren Fellowships, for a period of time equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 736
Amount of Award: tuition, living expenses, travel costs
Application Deadline: Jan. 18

Davies-Jackson Scholarship

Davies-Jackson Scholarship website

The Davies-Jackson Scholarship presents a unique opportunity for students with exceptional academic records, who are the first in their families to graduate college, to participate in a course of study at St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge. Graduating seniors may apply for the two-year B.A. degree program.

Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich educational environment of St. John’s, which was founded in the 16th century, by reading in one of the following subjects: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social and Political Sciences.

Adviser: Dr. Andrea Young, ext. 8180
Amount of Award: All fees, room, and board during term-time for up to two academic years and living expenses during summer vacation. Travel to and from England is also covered. The award is valued at $50,000.
Application Deadline: Early November

Fulbright Grants


The U.S. Student Fulbright Competition is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools in more than 150 countries. Projects may include university coursework, independent library or field research, or professional training in the arts. The program offers one academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience.

Adviser: Dr. Dominique Poncelet, West Hall 310, ext. 729
Amount of Award: Varies per program
Application Deadline: Mid-October

Gates Cambridge Scholarships


The Gates Cambridge Trust has established the Gates Cambridge Scholarships for scholars of exceptional academic achievement, scholarly promise, and leadership potential from every country of the world other than the United Kingdom, who are committed to serving their communities, and who meet the academic criteria for admission specified by the University of Cambridge. 100 new scholars are elected annually to pursue courses of study for a second Bachelor degree as an affiliated student; one-year postgraduate courses; or research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Gates Cambridge Scholars will be expected to be leaders in addressing global problems relating to learning, technology, health and social equity; to use their education for the benefit of others; and to show commitment to improving the common good.

Adviser:Dr. Mark Kainz, Farr Hall 206, ext. 8758
Amount of Award: costs of studying at Cambridge and expenses
Application Deadline: Oct. 15

Harry S. Truman Scholarships


The mission of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference.

Truman Scholars must work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 8736
Amount of Award: See description
Application Deadline: Early February

Marshall Fellowships


The British Government established the Marshall Fellowships to assist high ability American students to study for a degree in a field of their choice at any university in the United Kingdom. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, graduated from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States within the previous 3 year period, and must have maintained a GPA of not less than 3.7.

Adviser: Dr. Barbara Sisson, Farr 210, ext. 8759
Amount of Award: University fees and stipend, up to two years
Application Deadline: Early October

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, founded Dec. 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary, is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. The Society pursues its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa chapters are granted to the Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty and administration of the sheltering institution. Currently chapters exist at 262 institutions of higher learning throughout the United States. More than 15,000 new members, usually students in their senior year of undergraduate work, are elected each year. The Society’s distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.

For more information, contact Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Science Dr. Karl Beres: [email protected], G1, West Hall, ext. 8765.

Rhodes Scholarship


The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international graduate fellowships, bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. Extraordinary intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes scholarship. Applications are sought from talented students without restriction as to their field of academic specialization or career plans although the proposed course of study must be available at Oxford, and the applicant’s undergraduate program must provide a sufficient basis for further study in the proposed field. Rhodes Scholars are normally elected for two years of study. In addition to educational costs, each Scholar receives a maintenance allowance adequate to meet expenses for term-time and vacations. The Rhodes Trustees also cover the costs of travel to and from Oxford.

Adviser: Dr. Paul Jeffries, East 205, ext. 8377
Amount of Award: See description
Application Deadline: First week of October

Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

Udall Foundation Website

The Morris K. Udall Foundation awards 80 merit-based Undergraduate Scholarships of up to $5,000 to American college sophomores and juniors annually in three scholarship categories:
• Students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment
• Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy
• Native American and Alaska native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native public and community health care

The Udall Foundation seeks future leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics.

Adviser: Dr. Memuna Khan, Farr Hall of Science 214, ext. 8761
Amount of Award: Up to $5,000
Application Deadline: Feb. 15

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships


Through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), the National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,100 graduate fellowships to students in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation. Women strongly are encouraged to apply for the GRFP. They also may be considered for the Women in Engineering (WENG) and Women in Computer & Information Science (WICS) components of the Program.

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) seeks to educate American Ph.D. scientists and engineers who will pursue careers in research and education, with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional and personal skills to become leaders and agents for change. Its Web site includes numerous programs listed by institution, by category of study, by keywords or by region of the United States.

Adviser: Dr. Patrick Willoughby, Farr 304, ext. 8756
Amount of Award: See program descriptions; up to three years
Application Deadline: Varies by field

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (Undergraduate)


The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program encourages undergraduate students to pursue excellence in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Foundation awards about 300 merit-based scholarships for outstanding students, known as Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, who will be college juniors or seniors during a given academic year. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.

Adviser: Dr. Patrick Willoughby, Farr 304, ext. 8756
Amount of Award: Up to $7,500 annually
Application Deadline: Feb. 1

James Madison Fellowships


The James Madison Fellowships were created to honor Madisonian principles by providing support for graduate study that focuses on the Constitution – its history and contemporary relevance to the practices and policy of democratic government.

After earning a master’s degree, each James Madison Fellow must teach American history, American government or social studies in grades 7 through 12 for one year for each academic year of the fellowship. Areas of master’s study are:

Master of Arts (MA) in American history or political science
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) concentrating on either American Constitutional history or American government, political institutions and political theory
Master of Education (MEd) or the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, with a concentration in American history or American government, political institutions and political theory

Adviser: Dr. Andrea Young, ext. 8180
Amount of Award: Up to $12,000 annually ($24,000 maximum)
Application Deadline: March 1