The Herman B Wells Scholars Program at Indiana University Bloomington, working with over seventy IU faculty members, has selected 20 students to join the program in August 2019. 18 freshman and two upperclassmen will make up the 30th incoming class of Scholars since the program’s inception in 1990. These 20 students will join the prestigious group of close to 650 award recipients over the last three decades.
The competitive award was created to honor the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells and guarantees the full cost of attendance for up to four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus. Other benefits include generous support for overseas study, close interaction with faculty and distinguished guests, special seminars and academic opportunities, and alumni networking. The program also sponsors grant support for summer research, service, or creative projects, and a roster of extracurricular events and activities including opportunities for public service. Students in the Wells Scholars Program can pursue any major offered by IUB. The fields of interest of the newest Scholars range from pre-med and international studies to physics and environmental studies, and a large number of musicians.
“Supporting the Wells Scholars Program is one of the great privileges of my position,” said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dennis Groth. “As we approach the 30th anniversary of this distinguished program, I look forward to working with Wells Director Christoph Irmscher to ensure that the vision of the program’s founders continues even as we find new and creative ways to accomplish it. I welcome this new class to our campus, confident that they will make the most of their time with us and carry the IU spirit into the world when they leave.”
The program’s first class was comprised entirely of Indiana residents and welcomed its first out-of-state students the following year. This year’s freshman class is comprised of nine in-state students, 11 domestic out-of-state students, and, for the very first time, 2 international students selected through a brand new nomination process co-sponsored with the Office of International Services. Both Internal Scholars, one junior and one senior, are from Indiana.
Wells Director Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English, is excited about the new cohort of Scholars. “Each new class of Scholars has its own distinctive personality, and I cannot wait to find out what this new group is like, what their unique contribution to this program and our campus will be. This diverse group of young students will be changed for life by the opportunities they are given here; but they will, as I know from personal experience, profoundly change us as well. I am delighted that we have been able to expand the program to include Scholars from countries outside the United States: a bold reinvention of the program, now more needed than ever before. It honors the legacy of Chancellor Wells while also celebrating the internationalization of our campus completed under President McRobbie.”
The freshman class will participate in a now-annual international trip at the end of the first year. Professor Shruti Rana from the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and Director Irmscher will lead the students in a 10-day trip to Berlin, Germany next May. Students will explore the diverse cultural offerings of the cosmopolitan city and delve deep into its rich, contentious history. The trip serves as a coda to the mandatory, year-long seminar that all freshman Scholars take, co-taught by Irmscher and Rana.
The 30th anniversary of the Wells Scholars Program aligns with the bicentennial of Indiana University. The Program will celebrate with special events in spring 2020, culminating in a reunion in early June that coincides with larger, university-wide celebrations. WSP plans to distribute further details soon.
The 18 incoming freshmen Wells Scholars and their hometowns are:
Bailey Amspoker, Denver, Colo.
Kuzey Can Bektas, Istanbul, Turkey
Matthias Benko, Indianapolis, Ind.
Ritika Bhadouriya, Fishers, Ind.
Madison “Maddie” Butler, Fishers, Ind.
Shelemiah Crockett, Pickerington, Ohio
Sage Hamm, Middletown, Ind.
Hannah Hasenwinkel, Countryside, Ill.
Fadi “Tyler” Hayik, Eilaboun, Israel
Elvin Irihamye, Lexington, Ky.
Kathryn Mick, Westfield, Ind.
Noah Moore, Bloomington, Ind.
Jacob Newsome, Fairhope, Ala.
Nicholas Recktenwald, Louisville, Ky.
Jonathan Rickert, Bloomington, Ind.
Amin Rimawi, Fishers, Ind.
Maeve Whelan, Bloomington, Ind.
Nicholas Zidarescu, Wyoming, Ohio
The two internal Wells Scholars are:
Madeline Everhart, Indianapolis, Ind.
Andre Small, Noblesville, Ind.
Freshman Wells Scholars are nominated by their high schools or through the IU Office of Admissions and are selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character, leadership and distinction both inside and outside the classroom. Internal Wells Scholars are nominated by IU Bloomington faculty and selected for similar qualities.