BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Six exceptional students at Indiana University Bloomington were awarded Onward! Curtis R. Simic Scholarships for Leaders, which recognize scholarship, leadership, and commitment to constructive engagement with the university community. Rising juniors and seniors, both resident and non-resident, are eligible to apply for the scholarship, which covers the cost of one year of in-state tuition.
The $1.3 million endowed scholarship fund pays tribute to Simic, president emeritus of the IU Foundation, for his lifetime of service to IU and his dedication to cultivating student leaders. Simic’s distinguished career in higher-education fundraising began during his senior year at IU, when he served as president of the IU Student Foundation, and culminated with his 20-year term as president of the IU Foundation, where he retired in 2008.
“This scholarship allows us to identify and cultivate our next generation of leaders,” said Gene Tempel, president of the IU Foundation. “The level of maturity, vision, and commitment we see in these young people is extraordinary. As Simic scholars, they will carry out Curt’s legacy of philanthropy, leadership, and service to the university.”
The 2012 recipients are:
- Laura Appelt, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in environmental science. Appelt has served as director of environmentalism for the Residence Halls Association, a peer instructor for the Residential Learning Workshop at the Collins Living-Learning Center, and a member of both the Student Sustainability Council and the Political and Civic Engagement Program (PACE) Student Advisory Board.
- Kelsey Brannon, a senior from Bloomington, Ind., majoring in education. Brannon is a varsity softball player and was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete, and an Academic All-Big Ten recipient. She serves as a team representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and was this year’s recipient of the Tichenor Award, given to one male and one female student-athlete with the highest grade point average in the athletics program.
- Rebecca Horton, a senior from Naperville, Ill., majoring in health administration in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Horton has served as president of the Indiana Health Student Association, an undergraduate teaching assistant for SPEA, and an event coordinator for the Hutton Honors Council Association.
- William Mruzek, a senior from Hanover, Ind., majoring in communications and culture. Mruzek is the founder, facilitator, and coordinator of Queer InfoShare and has served as president of Unity (Gay-Straight Alliance). He is also a member of the Quarryland Men’s Chorus and serves on the planning committee for the 2012 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference.
- Rahaf Safi, a junior from Plainfield, Ind., majoring in political science and philosophy. Safi has served as president of the Oxfam Club, lead peer facilitator of the Emerging Leaders Program, and floor senator for Eigenmann Student Government. She is also a member of AmeriCorps and the Muslim Student Union.
- Darius Sawyers, a junior from Indianapolis majoring in exercise science. Sawyers has served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha, outreach director of the Indiana Memorial Union Board, and a student mentor for the Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence (FASE) mentoring program.