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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Fellowship funds dreams, adventures

The Daltons knew for a long time that they wanted to leave money to the University after their death. But they changed their minds and have now decided to help students.

Together, Ellen Dalton, the budget coordinator in the College of Musical Arts, and her husband, Chris, a retired vice president of finance for the Univerisity, decided to fund the Stuart Givens Memorial Fellowship.

Stuart Givens, who died in 2004, was a professor in the history department at the University. He taught at the University for 45 years and, during that time, was highly involved in undergraduate education.

“He was highly regarded by everybody,” Ellen Dalton said. “He cared a lot about the students.”

The Daltons decided to name the fellowship after Givens because of who he was as a person, and what did for the University.

The fellowship, which is now beginning its second year, gives two students per year up to $6,000 each to pursue their dreams.

“The fellowship in general basically allows one to reach a goal or a dream that they want to complete,” said Betsy Kovar, one of the first two winners of the fellowship.

The other winner, Martina Hanulova, is currently in Ghana, working in a Liberian refugee camp. Kovar went to India to study yoga.

Kovar said the fellowship was a great experience for her. It allowed her to broaden her horizons and to pursue her interests in both yoga and traveling.

“I’ve always been intrigued by their [India’s] culture, [and] yoga has always been a passion of mine,” Kovar said.

Kovar spent three weeks in India backpacking around the country, and then six more at a yoga retreat.

The work was challenging, Kovar said. Many times she would spend 15 hours a day working, but the hard work was well worth the


“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Kovar said.

Kovar said the fellowship allowed her to accomplish many dreams and goals. It allowed her to travel to and experience another culture, to slow down in a fast paced world, and to do what she wanted, not what society told her, to do.

“It definitely changed my life; mentally, spiritually [and] physically,” Kovar said.

The fellowship allows students to pursue goals and passions. It focuses on what is important to students, on what excites them, according to Peter Kuebeck, a media specialist/policy analyst at the University.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity to help students realize their goals and interests,” Kuebeck said.

To be eligible for the fellowship, a student must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate. He or she must have completed at least two semesters at the University, and must plan to return for at least two semesters after completing the fellowship. The student must also be in good academic standing with the University.

According to the fellowship’s Web site, to apply a student must propose a “self-designed off-campus experience that is not otherwise possible through an academic or study abroad program.”

Dalton said she likes the fact that the fellowship is broad, and open to everyone. It can liberate a student to something that he or she has always wanted to do.

“We don’t have any preconceptions or guidelines about what you do,” Dalton said.

The winners of the fellowship are chosen by a council of about five faculty members, Morgan-Russell said. The main thing the council looks at is the student’s project proposal.

“We look to make sure that it’s something that is an original idea. We really want this to be their passion,” Morgan-Russell said.

The council also looks to make sure that the proposal is doable in terms of time and money.

“We want to make sure that it’s a realistic project,” Morgan-Russell said.

Another condition of the fellowship is that when the winners return, they must give a public presentation to share their experience, and what they gained from it, with others.

Kovar will be presenting tonight from 7-9 p.m. in the Union. She will show slides from India, and also demonstrate some of the yoga techniques she learned.

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