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March 31, 2003

High school students interview
to become first Networks Scholars

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. ó Laughter filled the 11th floor of the Indiana State University School of Business as the first class of NetWorks Scholars candidates broke into pairs and got to know each other better.

They shared information about themselves from their hometowns to favorite and least favorite smells. Then they announced their findings to the other students, student mentors, parents and faculty in attendance.

Answers ranged from roses and home-cooked food to dirty gym socks and tuna. These icebreaker games seemed to ease the nerves of the 12 high school seniors, who were about to be given a single interview that could significantly affect their future college plans.

It was all part of NetWorks Scholars Interview Day on March 1. Candidates, their parents and School of Business students, faculty and administrators took time out of their Saturday to participate in interviews that are part of the selection process for the first class of NetWorks Scholars.

"I felt a little nervous, but the dean and the other interviewers tried to put me at ease" said NetWorks candidate Britta Johnson of Koontz Lake. Johnson plans to major in accounting and minor in management information systems if she decides to attend ISU.

The NetWorks Scholars Program, funded by a $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., provides chosen students with a $20,000 four-year scholarship, one paid internship, an international experience, faculty and executive mentors all four years of college and leadership development opportunities. The purpose of the NetWorks Scholars Program is to develop leadership potential of students who have an interest in careers in support of the financial services industry and who have demonstrated leadership potential.

"I am extremely pleased to be a part of this process," said School of Business Dean Ron Green. "We are on the verge of creating a very special program that will provide leadership to the financial services industry, as well as other parts of corporate America."

School of Business faculty who served as interviewers were also enthusiastic about the candidates and look forward to seeing their potential as anticipated ISU business students and future leaders in the highly competitive business world.

"It is gratifying to see the connection between the NetWorks grant and future students," said Connie McLaren, program coordinator and professor of quality and decision systems. "These students are the beginning of the process to turn an idea into a reality."

Mary Ann Boose, program coordinator and professor of insurance, also met with student throughout the morning and was impressed with the candidates.

"I am incredibly proud of the scholar candidates," she said. "They are such bright, talented, enthusiastic students. Itís truly a privilege to get to meet them and to anticipate their upcoming admission to our School of Business."

Candidates were paired with School of Business student mentors, who volunteered their Saturday morning to answer any questions that the candidates or their parents had concerning the interview process, various business majors, the School of Business or ISU in general. The student mentors also discussed the candidateís interests and college expectations, attempting to make them more comfortable.

"I think that the day went very smoothly and will be a good example for the future of the program," said freshman insurance and risk management major Diana Lund of Rockville, who helped organize the day.

Parents of NetWorks scholar candidates seemed nothing but impressed with the NetWorks program and the ISU School of Business.

"Iím very impressed so far. The faculty and administrators are friendly and the atmosphere here is quite home-like," said parent Marita Huey of Oblong, Ill.

Parent Karen Schleter of Fort Branch, agreed. "I like the professionalism and friendliness of the faculty. They are very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and seem genuinely glad to be here on a Saturday morning."

NetWorks Scholars are chosen based on high school GPA, rank in graduating class, SAT scores and leadership potential.

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Writer:
Megan Weinheimer, public affairs intern,
(812) 237-3773 or
megan_weinheimer@yahoo.com

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or http://isunews.indstate.edu