On The Cover
Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe '96
concludes his official visit to Vietnam
on Dec. 18, 2012.
2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Success of the Barry Athletics Model
Campus Democracy Project
Spring 2013, Volume 18, Number 1
The Scholarly Way
Barry is one of an elite group of universities offering incoming freshmen the opportunity to participate in the Stamps Leadership Scholars Program.
By Whitney Sessa
Anna-Marie Weed was finishing up her final semester as a high school senior, and the pressure to decide which college she would attend was really ramping up. Thankfully, with one phone call, her decision became crystal clear. “As soon as I heard that I was accepted into the Stamps program, I knew which university was right for me,” said Weed, now a second-year chemistry major at Barry University. “I still remember excitedly stumbling over my words when admissions called to let me know I’d been selected.” Weed is one of 11 students who have been selected to participate in Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars Program since its establishment in the fall of 2010. The program, founded by South Florida philanthropists Penny and E. Roe Stamps, awards full merit scholarships to high achieving incoming freshmen with an interest in leadership and service. The scholarships cover tuition and room and board for four years. Additional funds, often used during the summer, are available for enrichment experiences such as study abroad and undergraduate research. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to mentor these students who come to Barry dually motivated to excel academically and to actively pursue leadership opportunities that contribute in meaningful ways to their community,” said Dr. Gerene Starratt, Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars Program mentor. Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars agree that the largest benefit of the program is that it allows them to attend college without having to shoulder the heavy financial burden that many undergraduate students take on, especially when attending universities out of state. “I found the college search to be far more stressful than I expected,” said Melina Williman, a nursing major and 2012-2013 Stamps Leadership Scholars Program Stamps recipient.
“My parents were, of course, interested in scholarships while I was interested in getting out of Virginia. We had quite a few conflicts trying to find nursing schools that met both standards.” Victoria Hoelscher, another 2012-2013 Stamps recipients, echoed those sentiments. “Searching for a college was stressful for me,” said Hoelscher, biology major. “I was afraid that I would place a large financial burden on my family.” Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars Program made their decision of which college to attend “effortless.” “I could either attend school 30 minutes from my house or go to Miami. Of course, I chose Miami. The Stamps program has allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream of attending an out-of-state college,” Williman said. Hoelscher added: “At that point, I knew immediately that I would be attending Barry and was excited to receive an education at such an amazing school without placing stress on my family.” Barry is one of 30 universities in the United States able to offer the program through the generous support of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. As part of its commitment to attract the nation’s best and brightest future leaders, the University, in turn, matches Stamps funding to provide the full-merit scholarships. “The Stamps Leadership Scholars Program is aligned with Barry’s mission, which integrates study, reflection and action to inform the intellectual life,” said Barry Provost Dr. Linda Peterson. “A Barry education and university experience is grounded in a commitment to learning, reflection, informed action, collaborative service and transformation, all of which are consistent with the tenets of the Stamps program.” Although the program has been instituted nationwide, Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars say that their generous benefactors still make it their mission to meet each and every Stamps Leadership Scholar. “Mr. and Mrs. Stamps want to see what their kids are doing. It’s nice to see how much they care and how much they put into this,” Weed said. “They look for someone who’s not just sitting in a classroom reading a textbook, but who’s also out there learning from their experiences.”
“I could either attend school 30 minutes from my house or go to Miami. Of course, I chose Miami. The Stamps program has allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream of attending an out-of-state college,” Williman said
Each year Barry’s admissions staff actively searches for prospective Stamps Leadership Scholars who meet the criteria. Students must first be accepted to Barry and then become eligible to apply for the Stamps scholarship. Applicants must submit an essay and provide evidence of community service and leadership. A committee of Barry faculty and administrators recommends a list of finalists to Penny and E. Roe Stamps, who conduct an interview with each finalist and make the ultimate decision. The award is renewable every year as long as the scholar maintains an acceptable GPA and remains engaged in the Stamps program, including service and leadership activities. This call to service, leadership and scholarship is not considered a challenge, but rather an opportunity to engage the campus community, said Bethany Dill, a 2011 Stamps Leadership Scholars Program recipient. “I’ve been able to connect with the Barry community in a way that I would not have been able to otherwise,” said Dill, an education major. “From the Honors Program, to taking part in assemblies, to group community service, to having a scholarship advisor, we’ve had so many positive experiences.” The service component of the program varies each semester as Stamps Leadership Scholars tackle various projects benefiting the Greater Miami area. During the fall 2011 semester, Barry’s Stamps Leadership Scholars joined forces with local volunteers at Oleta River State Park to protect Florida’s natural environment by clearing out non-native plant species. In the spring, they switched gears and began volunteering for the non-profit His House in Miami Gardens, which provides residential care for abused, neglected and drug-exposed children in a home-like setting. “As Stamps Leadership Scholars, the students have a number of unique opportunities,” Starratt said. “For example, in November, we traveled to the University of Illinois to participate in a weekend leadership conference with Stamps students and mentors from across the country.”
In addition to providing service opportunities, the Stamps Leadership Scholars Program also offers invaluable leadership development opportunities. As part of Barry’s Presidential Ambassador Program, Stamps Leadership Scholars serve as the faces of the University by hosting campus tours and assisting during campus events. Leadership opportunities are also provided through the scholarship program itself. Every two years, Stamps Leadership Scholars from across the country gather together at a Stamps-affiliated university for the Stamps Scholars National Conference. During the three-day conference, Stamps Leadership Scholars are able to network with one another, attend leadership workshops, and showcase community service projects and initiatives they are working on at their respective schools. The next conference will take place in April 2013 at the University of Michigan. The connections that Stamps Leadership Scholars form with one another at conferences are just as valuable as the ones they form with scholars on their respective campuses. During Weed’s first Stamps meeting at Barry, she was introduced to fellow Stamps Leadership Scholar Paul Wenning, a junior majoring in English; they quickly became good friends. Before the year was up, the two were engaged. “I believe both of us being part of the program shows that we share some of the same values of leadership and service,” Weed said. Although they have yet to set a wedding date, they do plan to invite two special guests. “We would love for the Stamps to come because they have played such an important role in our lives and our meeting,” Wenning said. Weed plans to pursue graduate studies in chemical engineering, while Wenning has his sights set on becoming a high school English teacher. Regardless of where life takes them, their experience with the Stamps program will be an important anchor, helping them navigate the road ahead, they say.