Monday, February 04, 2013

[259] Feb. 15 deadline for new MTSU Honors Fellowship for transfer students

For release:  Jan. 25, 2013

News and Media Relations contact: Jimmy Hart, 615-898-5131 or
MTSU Honors College contact: Laura Clippard, 615-898-5464 or

Feb. 15 deadline for new MTSU Honors Fellowship for transfer students

MURFREESBORO — MTSU's University Honors College has selected Fall 2013 as the inaugural semester for the Honors Transfer Fellowship, a new program that represents MTSU's highest award given by the Honors College to a transfer student.

But transfer students interested in seeking the scholarship must act soon, as the Feb. 15 application deadline is quickly approaching.

Modeled after the Honors College’s successful Buchanan Fellowship — awarded every year to 20 of the top incoming freshmen — the goal of the new fellowship is to create a complementary scholarship that would provide transfer students with the same opportunities to participate in the Honors Program.

Potential candidates may have earned an associate's degree, but the Fellowship Committee particularly encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds, including those who might be considered nontraditional students — someone older than 24 — or those transferring from a community college. However, applicants must have completed at least 60 hours of transfer credit and have a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for the program.

Setting the Honors College and its students apart from other undergraduates is the “capstone experience” that provides the opportunity to pursue a thesis, said Laura Clippard, academic adviser and undergraduate fellowships coordinator for the University Honors College.

“This fellowship is geared toward students who would find the thesis process very rewarding, whether it be a research or creative thesis. It allows students to pursue their academic passions in their field,” Clippard explained.

“This is special because it is a true fellowship. Fifteen students will be selected from all different colleges and they'll have the opportunity to come together during their first semester to take a research class and to learn about the thesis and research process.”

The thesis opportunity functions as an independent study. After proposing a topic, each student is typically assigned to three members of the Honors faculty who will serve as mentors to guide the scholar until the project is completed. One of the primary goals of this Capstone Experience is to give students a competitive edge when preparing for future graduate or professional work.

As for the first group of selected students, this fall each person will participate in the same Research Methods cohort, then prepare an individual project proposal in spring 2014 and, finally, complete the thesis process by fall 2014.

The Fellowship will provide a significant award for each student selected. Recipients who qualify for in-state tuition will receive $3,500 per semester for up to four semesters. Up to three scholarships of $7,000 per semester will be available each year to students applying from out of state or foreign countries. Transfer Fellows also will be given special consideration for study abroad scholarships, as well as access to the resources of the Undergraduate Fellowships Office, a department that nominates individuals for other national and international fellowships.

Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College, said the creation of the Transfer Fellowship appeals to prospective MTSU students, while also addressing their former educators:

“This is MTSU's way of telling students we really do want you and we have enough experience to know that if you have a 3.5 GPA at a community college, there's a really good chance you'd do well at MTSU and we'd like you to consider us,” Vile said.

“Also this fellowship is partly our way of telling community colleges that we want you to participate in honors programs,” Vile added. “We want your students and we think we can help them.”

To be considered for this fellowship, students must submit a completed application form and admissions packet, which should include: official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities, two letters of recommendation from college professors or administrators and a 500-word personal essay.

The deadline is Feb. 15 and all materials should be directly mailed to: Honors Transfer Fellowship Committee, University Honors College, MTSU Box 267, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

For more information on the University Honors College and Transfer Fellowship visit:

About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.

Note to media: Headshots of Clippard, Vile attached

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