Indiana State University Newsroom

Commuter scholarships help keep students working toward degrees

January 15, 2010

Lamora Delp drives to classes at Indiana State University hoping she doesn't have to re-start her car at every other traffic light. She also hopes duct tape keeps the trunk lid down on the vehicle she compares with the flying clunker from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

Joseph Otte burns $25 worth of gas whenever he makes the 260-mile round trip from Columbus, and it's a trip he makes three days per week.

They are among eight students recognized during a reception Friday in the Commuter Lounge of ISU's Cunningham Memorial Library. Each of the scholarships awarded this semester is valued at $550 and covers books, transportation expenses and the student recreation fee.

"This scholarship recognizes that commuter students have unique challenges. It's a way of encouraging them to hang in there and complete their education," said Michael Gant, commuter service coordinator.

Delp and Otte agree that the scholarship provides needed assistance. They are willing to make the commute because they know what their ISU diplomas will mean to their future.

"This semester is my final semester at ISU. I am looking forward to all I will learn and to that coveted diploma in May," said Delp, a senior English major from Newport.

The hinges on her car trunk "go into spasms that pop the trunk open like it's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang extending its flying gear. I would take it to the shop, but will all my expenses, all I can afford right now is the duct tape," Delp says.

"The only income that my family of four has is from my wife. It has been very difficult, but the decision to return to college will pay off in the end. We greatly appreciate this scholarship," said Otte, a former manufacturing engineer who returned to college to pursue a degree in technology and engineering education.

In addition to Delp and Otte, Commuter Scholarship recipients for the spring semester include:

• Judy Branham, a senior communication major from Carbon
• Andrew Day, a senior pre-pharmacy major from Brazil
• Dennis Howe, a senior music major from Terre Haute
• Rochanda Johnson, a junior physical education major from Terre Haute
• Tiffani Newlin, a senior management major from West York, Ill.
• James Yates Jr., a senior biology (pre-medicine) major from Terre Haute

The scholarships can be worth up to $1,000 per semester to help cover transportation fees, textbooks, the cost of special class fees and childcare, if needed. A limited number of scholarships are available to junior and senior students in good standing who submit a brief essay explaining how the financial award will benefit them in completing a four-year degree.

May 3 is the deadline to apply for ISU Commuter Scholarships for the fall semester. An application is available on the Commuter Student Services Web site at

Photo: -Indiana State University senior Lamora Delp says a $550 scholarship for commuter students will help keep her in gas - and duct tape - for the car she uses to drive to campus from her home in Newport. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Contact: Michael Gant, commuter project coordinator, Indiana State University, 812-237-8423 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or