Bloomington, Ind.—The Wells Scholars Program, one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships in the United States, inducted 19 Indiana University freshmen and one junior this fall. The incoming class is composed of the largest number of Indiana residents since 2009, with 16 students hailing from hometowns across the state.
Created in honor of Herman B Wells, long-time chancellor and president of IU, the Wells Scholarship supports students pursuing a broad range of academic programs, leadership opportunities, international experiences and a strong engagement with the IU Bloomington campus and community.
“We warmly welcome our newest class,” said Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English and the George F. Getz Jr. Professor in the Wells Scholars Program. “Each of these students bring curiosity, energy and a robust foundation of academic exploration that will propel them to great accomplishments here at IU and beyond.”
Incoming freshman Wells Scholars receive the full cost of attendance at IU for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus. Scholars may choose to spend up to one of those years studying abroad. Newly named recipients who are already students at IU receive tuition, fees and a stipend for their remaining undergraduate years. Wells Scholars hold named scholarships within the program that honor donors or those designated by donors.
The Wells program also offers special seminars; support for a summer research or service project, creative activity or internship; and a wide range of extracurricular events and activities. It emphasizes close interaction with faculty, academic and career advising, opportunities for public service, and contact with distinguished visitors.
During the induction ceremony, Irmscher announced that this year’s freshman international trip will send the new class of scholars to Indiana University’s gateway in Berlin, Germany, for ten days of lectures and service activities. The trip will be led by Irmscher and Austen Parrish, the Dean of the Maurer School of Law, who will be teaching the Wells Scholar Freshman seminar, on “International Law in a Changing World,” in the spring of 2018.
Noah Bendix-Balgley, Wells Scholar alumnus and concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, will be the Wells Scholars Program Professor for 2018. Noah will spend two weeks on campus, teaching in a special class led by Alain Barker of the Jacobs School of Music and performing as a soloist in his Klezmer concerto in a concert at the Musical Arts Center.
This year also marked the beginning of a new partnership between the Wells Scholars Program and the Maurer School of Law through a Maurer-Wells 3+3 program to support Wells Scholars as they earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years.
The 19 new Wells Scholars and their hometowns are:
Caroline Anders, Gahanna, Ohio
Spencer Bures, Zionsville, Ind.
Yiling Dong, Zionsville, Ind.
Sam Epstein, Saratoga Springs, New York
Leeann Estrada, Leesberg, Ind.
Robert “Rob” Greene, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Rachel Kalbfell, Carmel, Ind.
Asmaa Mahoui, Indianapolis, Ind.
Abigail “Abby” McClain, Martinsville, Ind.
Meena Moorthy, Carmel, Ind.
Baker Nasser, Granger, Ind.
Ronak Patel, Palatine, Ill.
Sophia Ren, Bloomington, Ind.
Chase Salmon, Shoals, Ind.
Margaret Schnabel, Zionsville, Ind.
Naomi “Ping” Showalter, Bloomington, Ind.
Anastasiya “Nastya” Yakovlyeva, Seymour, Ind.
Katherine “Katie” Zackerman, Cincinnati, Ohio
Tyler Zhang, Fishers, Ind.
The junior internal Wells Scholar is:
Madeline “Maddy” Klein, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Freshman Wells Scholars are nominated by their high schools or the IU Office of Admissions; they are selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character, leadership and distinction both inside and outside the classroom. The class includes several students who are the first from their high schools to receive this prestigious award. Internal Wells Scholars are nominated by IU Bloomington faculty and selected for similar qualities.