National Top Undergraduate Student Award
Date: May 22, 2002
Goes To UC Junior
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photo: By Dottie Stover
Archive: General News
A UC junior has beaten out hundreds of applicants from Ivy League institutions and other top academic universities to win an honor symbolic of student excellence.
Jennifer Yale, a marketing major from Waynesfield, Ohio, has been selected as the Laurel Scholar in the 2002 Centuria of Excellence competition presented by the Search for Excellence Undergraduate Merit Award Program.
The national competition involved more than 500 students representing more than 200 universities. Behind Yale, First Honors went to Jamie Bartholomew of Princeton University and Second Honors went to Yang "Kelly" Yang of University of California-Berkeley.
Previous recent award winners have hailed from Princeton (2001), Carnegie-Mellon (2000) and Dartmouth (1999).
"I was shocked," Yale said of receiving the notification call from H. Meredith Stevenson, executive director for the competition's sponsor, the Delta Epsilon Iota National Honor Society. "I was shaking a little bit, because I kind of applied almost on a whim, and I had seen all the people from Princeton and Cal-Berkeley who had won before. I didn't believe her when she called, and she told me that it was okay to be shocked."
The competition was created to promote the society's ideals of dedication, enthusiasm and initiative in the academic environment. Yale will receive a $5,000 scholarship as the winner.
Yale's resume reflects an impressive array of accomplishments academically, through her co-op assignments and in public service. The marketing major is both a Carl H. Lindner Jr. Honors-PLUS scholar in the College of Business Administration and a University Honors Scholar. She has been co-oping since 1999 at ACNielsen BASES in Covington, Ky.
Her application was bolstered, she believes, by her approach to an essay portion. Students were told they had received a report card with four As - Altruism, Ambition, Ability and Achievement. They then had to describe what they've done to receive them and what they learned.
Yale actually created a grade card-type form that creatively laid out her qualifications, a style she believes set her apart from other applicants.
Her case was also supported by strong letters of recommendation from Jeri Ricketts, director of Honors-PLUS, and Bob Carter, the vice president of U.S. client service at ACNielsen BASES.