New program grooms students for grad school

Jenna Hedman

A select group of incoming Honors College freshman are already preparing to apply for graduate school through a new program called the Kent Fellows Academy.

Vicky Bocchicchio, senior special assistant to the dean of the Honors College, is in charge of the new fellows program. She said all honors freshman that met the academic requirements were invited to apply for 15 spots.

Bocchicchio said in the end, the Honors College chose 16 incoming freshman to be a part of the program’s inaugural class.

University Provost Robert Frank made a congratulatory speech to the students at their first meeting Tuesday evening in the Student Center.

Additional requirements for Kent Fellows Academy

• Must have a minimum ACT score of 30 and a minimum high school GPA of 3.8.

• Attend one mandatory meeting each semester.

• Attend at least two university academic programs and write a reflection paper for each.

• Assist with honors events.

• Must take a 1-credit-hour independent study in the fall of their sophomore year.

• The group will design a service project in the spring of their sophomore year with an average of 40 hours of participation from each member.

• Encouraged to study abroad and write a senior thesis.

• Re-apply each year with a resume, cover letter, personal statement and Fellows Portfolio.

“The challenge is: You were accepted because of your potential and now we’re asking you to take risks and ask more of yourselves than you ever have,” Provost Robert Frank said. “But those risks mean great opportunities.”

Bocchicchio said the program is just one way the school is working to increase the number of Kent State students that apply for fellowships.

“Our hope is that the students will aspire to apply to prestigious scholarships which, historically, not many Kent students have done,” Williams said.

Bocchicchio said that each fellow will work closely with a mentor to help them take advantage of everything Kent has to offer — like on-campus lectures and studying abroad. The group will meet as a whole once per semester, but they will meet individually with their mentors as needed.

Honors College Dean Donald Williams said they were invited to apply based on their academic performance, but they were selected based on their outside activities.

Extracurricular activities of some of the fellows included band, academic challenge, National Honors Society, French club, post secondary, drama club and service organizations.

Aaron Rees, one of the new Kent Fellows, is double majoring in physics and math. He is also considering a minor in computer sciences. He said he applied to the program to help him prepare for graduate school.

“I’m looking for a research career which is very dependent on grad schools,” Reese said.

Another member, Alexandria Schramm is majoring in psychology.

“I’ve always challenged myself to meet new people and join new groups,” Schramm said. “I’m excited about meeting new people and that we’re going to work together because we all have similar goals.”

Contact Jenna Hedman at [email protected].