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MSMU Announces Newest Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship Winners

Communications Staff

Three Mount St. Mary’s University students, Ann Kayser, C’18, Alaina Owen, C’18, and Molly Ousborne, C’18, were recently awarded scholarships through the Clare Boothe Luce program for the 2017-18 academic year.

clare-boothe-luce-winners.pngFunded through the Henry Luce Foundation for almost 30 years, the Clare Booth Luce scholarship is a highly-competitive award that goes to women enrolled in science, engineering and math who have demonstrated high academic achievement, leadership potential and a commitment to their field.

“We are extremely proud of our three Clare Boothe Luce scholarship recipients,” said Mount St. Mary’s University Interim President Timothy Trainor, Ph.D. “Clare Boothe Luce was a true visionary in her support of women in science, engineering and mathematics, and the Mount echoes her vision. Through this scholarship, Ann, Alaina and Molly can now make an even greater impact in the classroom and in our community.”

The Mount received the prestigious scholarship program in 2015, one of only 11 institutions in the country to receive it that year through the Clare Boothe Luce program’s open competition. The program provides grants for three students in the 2016-17, and 2017-18 academic years. Patricia Kreke, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, Jonelle Hook, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, and Abigail Kula, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental science, authored the grant.

This year’s recipients will follow in the footsteps of the 2016-17 academic year winners, Danielle Beauchamp, C’18, Sarah Bonson, C’17, and Angela Marinelli, C’17.

While some individuals may rest after much hard work in achieving a major accomplishment, Kreke explains these three students have done the opposite. “In addition to the activities which led to the students receiving their scholarships last year, these women have assumed additional leadership roles in a mentoring project that the MSMU Women in STEM organization piloted this fall,” Kreke said.

In terms of the effect on the students, the scholarship has allowed Bonson to persist in her coursework, diving deeper into the material. “This scholarship has enabled me to continue exploring the scientific field,” said the soon-to-be graduate. “Through research and study of chemistry, I have become more aware of the incredible inner-workings of God's creation.”

The scholarship has also enabled Beauchamp to examine her career path and look more carefully at what could lie ahead. “This award has been a wonderful opportunity to explore future career opportunities, receive mentorship and focus on my academic studies,” said the junior. “Through this program I have been connected with a mentor who has given me a glimpse into a career I would like to pursue and encouraged my application into several internship programs. I have been encouraged to find what I am passionate about and find the connection of it to mathematics.”

One component of the scholarship at Mount St. Mary’s is the willingness of students to serve as mentors. Bonson explained how this time has helped her in terms of teaching and mentoring, and notes, “Through the mentorship component of this scholarship, I have been inspired to continue working toward my goals as well as to help younger scientists to reach their goals and aspirations. Through mentorship, the passion and curiosity of younger students brings energy and drive for me to continue to teach.”

But maybe most importantly, each have grown personally. “The Clare Boothe Luce scholarship has taught me the importance of allowing my faith to inspire my future career plans,” said Marinelli. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the Mount community of professors and students encouraging me in my education and also in my faith.”

The experience has given Bonson a view on the global scale as well. “I have been able to expand my horizons and learn more about the world in which we live through my studies this year,” she said. “I am awed at the greatness and beauty of the world, which gives me hope to continue moving forward in the scientific field.”

Kreke explains that their positive growth is exactly why the Mount decided to pursue this grant. “This success underscores our motivation to seek the scholarship funding from the Luce Foundation, which rewards emerging female leaders in STEM fields where women are traditionally under-represented,” she said.

These six students all set a great example for not only women in science, mathematics and engineering, but to all Mount students. It’s a true testament to their hard work and effort, along with the support and encouragement of their professors, advisors and family.

To learn more about the Mount’s School of Natural Science & Mathematics, please visit

Communications Staff