• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Freshmen receive Croft scholarships

Jessi Hotakainen

This year, the Croft Institute for International Studies at The University of Mississippi awarded scholarships to eight freshmen: six from Mississippi, one from Louisiana and one from Texas. The scholarships are funded through the Joseph C. Bancroft Charitable and Educational Fund and gives $8,000 per year for four years. “I knew that I wanted to be in Croft because they have such intensive and specialized programs,” said scholarship recipient Mackenzie Breeland. After applying for the scholarship, students are required to write an essay describing why Croft is the right program for them and propose a way to deal with a worldwide topic. After assessing more than 200 applicants based on resumes, transcripts, GPA and ACT scores, a six-member panel selects 18 to 20 top candidates for on-campus interviews. The panel consists of Croft Institute officers, Executive Director Kees Gispen, Associate Director William Schenck, Regional Admissions Counselor Brooke Worthy and Administrative Coordinator Brandi Holley. There are also one or two professors involved in the process every year. The interview is designed to find out more about the students’ interests and ask questions about international affairs, where they would like to travel, if they have had a chance to travel and the types of books they enjoy. “Our admission standards are pretty stringent,” Schenck said. “We are looking for students who have already proven both that they are capable of succeeding in a rigorous academic program, but also that they are really interested in international studies.” Breeland, who is studying French and plans to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology before becoming a museum curator, posted a 3.89 GPA and a 35 ACT score and graduated from Ocean Springs High School. Scholars Bradley Floore, Connor Clark, Matthew Riddle and Evan Heitzmann are enrolled in the Chinese Flagship Language Program. Floore served as president of Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honor Society (NHS) in high school in Gautier. He posted a 4.0 GPA and a 34 ACT score. Clark graduated from Coppell High School in Texas with a 3.778 GPA and a 31 ACT score. He was also involved in the NHS and served as the president of the Chinese Club. Riddle, a National Merit Finalist, graduated from Madison Central High School with a 3.89 GPA and a 36 ACT score. Heitzmann graduated from St. Paul’s School in Covington, La., with a 3.78 GPA and a 32 ACT score. The three other scholarship recipients from Mississippi are Amber Malone, Jenny Tran and Steven Wild. Malone, a National Achievement Finalist, graduated from Madison Central High School with a 4.0 GPA and a 29 ACT score. Tran, a National Forensics League Academic All-American, graduated from Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg with a 4.0 GPA and a 33 ACT score. Wild, a National Merit Finalist, graduated from Oak Grove High school with a 4.0 GPA and a 35 ACT score. All of the students will spend at least one semester abroad in a country where the language they study is spoken as part of the foreign language program. They are also required to maintain an overall 3.2 GPA, which is changing to 3.4 in fall 2013, according to Gispen. “We are going to up it because the average GPA of Croft students is about 3.6,” he said.