Back to Top
Utility Nav Top Nav Content News Nav Site Search
Close Main Menu

Students in final round for Truman and Jack Kent Cooke scholarships

2019-02-25-John-Blessing
Senior John Blessing has been selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation finalist. The Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships up to $30,000 for undergraduate students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service. Blessing, a student on UNG’s Gainesville Campus, is pursuing bachelor's degrees in political science and history with a focus in pre-law.

Two University of North Georgia (UNG) students are one step away from earning highly competitive national scholarships to continue their higher education dreams.

Senior John Blessing has been selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation finalist while sophomore Allison Rogers is a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships up to $30,000 for undergraduate students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service. Blessing, a student on UNG’s Gainesville Campus, is pursuing bachelor's degrees in political science and history with a focus in pre-law. 

A list of Truman finalists was announced online recently. Other universities and colleges in Georgia with a Truman finalist are University of Georgia with three and Emory University and Spelman College with one each.

The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship pays up to $40,000 a year for associate degree students to attend an accredited undergraduate school and earn a bachelor’s degree. Rogers is working four jobs to pay for her tuition, gas and books while attending UNG's Oconee Campus.

A list of semifinalists for the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is online. Other colleges and universities with semifinalists are Georgia Perimeter College with nine and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, East Georgia State College and Georgia Highlands College with one each.

Both students were elated after learning they were in the final round of the selection process.

"When I got the email, I wasn't sure if it was real," Blessing said.

He emailed Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president of research and engagement, to verify if it was authentic. It was.

"It was exhilarating," he said. "My friends and I went out to celebrate."

Blessing said if he becomes a Truman Scholar, the designation given to the scholarship winners, he will attend law school.

"I want to defend the rights of those who have difficulty defending themselves," the 22-year-old from Gainesville, Georgia, said.

Rogers has similar aspirations. The 18-year-old from Covington, Georgia, wants to serve and protect her community as a federal agent.

2019-02-25-Allison-Rogers

Sophomore Allison Rogers is a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship pays up to $40,000 a year for associate degree students to attend an accredited undergraduate school and earn a bachelor’s degree. Rogers is working four jobs to pay for her tuition, gas and books while attending UNG's Oconee Campus.

 

"I want to work as an FBI special agent who specializes in violent crime," Rogers said. "But they want people with a degree."

She hopes to make her career plan a reality by earning a bachelor's degree and then a law degree. Winning the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship would require Rogers to transfer to another school. She has applied to Yale University in Connecticut and Harvard University and Williams College in Massachusetts.

"I would study government, ethics and law," Rogers said.

Dr. Rosaria Meek, assistant professor of Spanish at UNG, believes Rogers is an ideal candidate to receive the prestigious scholarship.

"She is one of most hardworking students I know," Meek said. "She embodies the UNG Oconee student and is the perfect example of a student who is thriving at a small campus. Allison also has the skills and abilities to succeed at larger college or an Ivy League school."

Last year, 47 Jack Kent Cooke scholarships were awarded, according to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website. UNG student Teri Jones, a non-traditional sophomore majoring in visual arts on UNG's Oconee Campus, won the scholarship in 2015. Jennifer Conley and Blessing were semifinalists in the 2016-17 academic year.

Dr. Dwight Wilson, assistant professor of political science and international affairs at UNG, believes Blessing would be a "terrific" candidate to become a Truman Scholar. Knowing him as a student in class and working with blessing on an undergraduate research project, Wilson said Blessing's unbounded curiosity, open-minded attitude and modesty would make him an asset to any graduate program.

"He has the qualifications in spades to really succeed in whatever field he chooses," Wilson said. "He would not be at all out of place in any top level program because of his energy and passion. He would make a difference in the area of government or public service. John is a man of action, and he wants to make a difference. Couple that with his intellect, he is capable of going far in any area of his choosing."

Last year, 59 students became Truman Scholars, according to Truman Scholars website. Jennifer Hightower, who majored in psychology, was a finalist in May 2015. No UNG student has become a Truman Scholar.

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact ncs@ung.edu for more information.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

Back to Top