Fourteen students have been announced as Robert G. Bone Scholars for the 2019 - 2020 academic school year.
The award is the highest university-wide recognition given to students. The scholarship is awarded to students who have attended Illinois State for at least two years and have maintained a high grade point average during that time. The average GPA among recipients this year was 3.96 out of a possible 4.0.
After receiving a nomination, applicants go through a rigorous process in which they must prepare a portfolio encapsulating their time at Illinois State. The portfolios serve to showcase the work that the applicant has done at the university as well as in the community. Most portfolios were over 25 pages long, and included multiple essays and letters of recommendation.
Scholarship recipient and zoology major Amanda Klinlger said that writing the portfolio was the most difficult part.
“A lot of the time when preparing applications I am stuck between following common application advice about ‘selling yourself’ and just being unapologetically honest,” Klingler said.
“As soon as I switched to unapologetic honesty, everything became easier.,“ she continued.
This is the 53rd class of Bone scholars since the scholarship’s beginning in 1967. The fourteen students vary from music education majors to molecular and cellular biology students.
While the selection of students is diverse, they all have their experiences at Illinois State in common. Many recipients attribute their growth in leadership skills to their time at Illinois State through involvement in clubs, undergraduate research and internship experiences.
“Having had little to no experience with leadership and involvement in high school, I experienced a 180-degree shift in my abilities and confidence in being a student leader and ambassador at Illinois State,” said scholarship recipient and exercise science major Mohammed Zaman. “This award serves as validation for what I was able to achieve.”
The scholarship recipients will receive a commemorative medallion along with their scholarship, as well as having their names permanently engraved on the Bone Scholar wall in the Bone Student Center.
Several recipients attributed their success to the support of their friends, family and professors, who read countless drafts and encouraged their academic growth throughout their time at Illinois State.
“The application process was very rigorous, and I spent several hours every day for about three months writing and rewriting my essays,” said Bone scholar and music education major Mary Pat Robey. “I'm extremely grateful for my family, friends, and professors that helped me proofread and revise my writing in order to best present the incredible experiences I have had during my time at ISU.”
The full list of Bone Scholars is available online.