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Last modified: Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Cincinnati's Debbeler named Wells Scholar at IU

Aug. 10, 2006

Monica Debbeler image

Monica Debbeler

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Monica Debbeler from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been selected as a Wells Scholar at Indiana University, one of 19 entering freshmen so honored. She will this fall join more than 320 others who have been named Wells Scholars since 1990.

The scholarship, named in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university. Since its inception, more than two dozen Wells Scholars have gone on to earn prestigious Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships for advanced study.

A National Merit Finalist, Debbeler graduated from Ursuline Academy and earned certification from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for her work in its two-year intensive acting program. She was a directing intern for Clear Stage Cincinnati and performed in multiple school theatre productions.

Cappies, the national Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater, honored her with a Best Song Award and a commendation for directing for Oklahoma! She was nominated for the Best Comic Actress Award for her performance in Oliver and served on her school's Critic Team, which was also nominated for a national award.

Debbeler served as president of the Ursuline Academy Stage Company; movement advisor for Theatre Arts Group; committee chair and skit writer-in-residence for Hands Across the Campus, a diversity organization; and manager of the show choir. She was president of the Earth Action Team and a member of National Honor Society, Ursuline Honor Club and Peer Tutoring. She was named prom queen, elected by members of her class to present the commencement address and presented with the Kenyon Book Award.

Active in her community, she volunteered with Tender Mercies, Relay for Life, Sweatshop Awareness Project, Stepping Stones Center and other organizations. Debbeler plans to major in theatre and drama and international studies.

Many previous Wells Scholars today contribute to Indiana as residents who are attorneys, doctors, school teachers and business people and even an ordained minister. Others have gone on to clerk for Indiana and U.S. Supreme Court justices, are engaged in international relief and service efforts and are scholars at other renowned educational institutions such as Harvard Business School and Cornell Law School. There are Wells Scholars currently serving in the Armed Forces and other positions in government.

To honor Wells, IU created the Wells Scholars Program, which began with fund-raising efforts in 1988 and the appointment of Professor Breon Mitchell as its founding director. In 1990, IU welcomed its first class of Wells Scholars and on June 7, 1992, Wells' 90th birthday, he was officially presented with the Wells Scholars Program, as a gift from his many friends and admirers. After his death in the spring of 2000, this community of talented and dedicated young scholars remains as a permanent legacy of his educational vision.

Wells Scholars receive full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus of IU. The program also offers special seminars, an optional year of study abroad, and support for a summer research project or internship. The Wells program emphasizes close interaction with faculty, academic and career advising, opportunities for community service, and contact with distinguished visitors.

Wells Scholars are selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character and leadership and distinction both inside and outside of the classroom.