U.Va. Student Among 50 to Receive National Scholarships

October 07, 2008

October 7, 2008 — University of Virginia second-year student Michelle C. Chmielewski will receive the National Society of Collegiate Scholars' Merit Award.

Chmielewski, 20, a native of Crystal Lake, Ill., will receive a $1,000 scholarship at an Oct. 25 ceremony, during which she also will be inducted into the society. The scholarships are awarded to only 50 outstanding new members nationwide.

"I feel very honored to have received this award." Chmielewski said, adding that she plans to use it for study abroad.

Chmielewski has not yet declared a major, but said she is leaning toward economics and political science or commerce.

"I enjoy studying globalization and the current challenges the world faces as international boundaries are dissolving," she said. "I want to take at look at economics and culture in Argentina. I'm also hoping to get a masters of business administration or a law degree down the road and work in international trade or development."

The U.Va. chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars has 983 members, according to chapter president Elaine Wilkins. About 500 new members will be inducted this fall. First- and second-year students with a grade-point average of 3.4 and ranking in the top 20 percent of their class can join the society.

The society's mission is to inspire academic excellence and engaged citizenship.

"The major emphases of our chapter are scholarship, leadership and service," Wilkins said.

"We are pleased to recognize the outstanding academic accomplishments of Michelle and the students at University of Virginia," said Stephen E. Loflin, the society's executive director.  "We recognize the amazing potential of freshmen and sophomores."

Merit award recipients were chosen based on essays, extracurricular activities and recommendation letters. The National Society of Collegiate Scholars also awards scholarships for textbooks, study abroad and graduate school, as well as community service grants.

The society is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is the nation's only interdisciplinary honors organization to induct first- and second-year college students. Membership is by invitation only. The society, with 625,000 members in 223 chapters, offers members exclusive access to scholarships, career resources, leadership and networking opportunities.