Indiana State University Newsroom

2013 Networks Scholars announced

June 19, 2013

Eight incoming Indiana State University students will comprise the Networks Scholars program's Class of 2017.

The first-year students will receive the prestigious Networks Financial Institute (NFI) Scholarship, which includes full in-state tuition for four years, a $3,000 professional development account and a laptop. The students also will be a part of the NFI Professional Development Program, which provides the scholars an award-winning, four-year curriculum designed to cultivate leadership, management, teamwork and career skills. Scholars also receive access to corporate mentors, internships and travel opportunities."These are smart students. They can get scholarships to any of a number of universities," said Michelle Reeson, assistant director for the NFI Professional Development Program. "They need something beyond just the scholarship, and that's what the Networks Professional Development Program can do for them."

Networks Scholars are required to complete internships and regularly attend educational seminars throughout the year. They also organize events and programs on campus and in the community; juniors in the program plan and host the annual Ethics and Social Responsibility Conference that takes place at Indiana State each spring.

"These students are 10 feet ahead of many other graduates hitting the job market when they graduate," Reeson said. "Over half of the last senior class of scholars held offers or had accepted jobs by December of their senior year, and that was largely due to the fact that they had worked a number of internships" and taken advantage of other professional opportunities.

The Class of 2017 scholars are standouts in different activities and in many community organizations, Reeson said, which aligns with the community service aspect of the Networks Scholars program.

"It was very evident that they care a lot about their families and communities," Reeson said. "That desire motivates them to share their strengths and talents beyond just their immediate environment. They have a very good value system."

The Networks Scholars who are in the Class of 2017 are:

Bram Blackwell, son of Everett and Donna Blackwell, is from Dow, Ill., and graduated from Jersey Community High School. He plans on majoring in accounting.




Bethany Collins, daughter of Tim and Deann Collins, is from Normal, Ill., and graduated from Normal Community West High School. She plans on majoring in financial services.




Reagan Elston, granddaughter of Merl and Lynne Elston, is from Catlin, Ill., and graduated from Catlin High School. She plans on majoring in management.




Larynda Keith, daughter of Dean and RaLynda Keith, is from Elnora and graduated from North Daviess High School. She plans on majoring in accounting.




Trent Lunsford, son of Larry and Jill Lunsford, is from Overland Park, Kan., and graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School. He plans on majoring in finance.




Ashton Meares, daughter of Joe and Cheryl Meares, is from Indianapolis and graduated from Lawrence Central High School. She plans on majoring in business administration.




Abigail Shanks, daughter of Ted and Sam Shanks, is from Terre Haute and graduated from Terre Haute South Vigo High School. She plans on majoring in business administration.




Kyle Varble, son of Dale and Lynn Varble, is from Rockport and graduated from South Spencer High School. He plans on majoring in finance.