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Karen Hanson
Dean, Hutton Honors College

Nicole Roales
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, October 17, 2006

IU alumna wins one of 76 full-ride scholarships to graduate school

Stacey K. Jones was an IU Hutton Honors College student

Oct. 17, 2006

Stacey Jones

Stacey Jones of Bloomington, Ind., is among the 76 recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Award.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University alumna Stacey K. Jones is among the 76 college graduates to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Award for 2006.

Jones, a 2006 Hutton Honors College graduate of IU Bloomington, is now a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where she is pursuing a master's degree in social service administration. The Cooke Foundation Award grants her full tuition and a stipend, renewable annually while attends she graduate school.

Originally from the Quad Cities area in Illinois, Jones is a resident of Bloomington, Ind. She earned bachelor of arts degrees at IU in psychology and sociology and a certificate in nonprofit management.

"Stacey is a remarkable young person — intellectually superb, with a great work ethic and an acute sensitivity to social issues," said Hutton Honors College Dean Karen Hanson. "She was a brilliant student here at IU, and she always has been committed to making the world a better place. She has had a positive influence on everything with which she's been involved, and I'm sure she's going to have an extraordinary future.

"Thousands of wonderful students from throughout the U.S. apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship," Hanson continued, "and from those applications, over a thousand are forwarded to the national competition. Only the best of the best are chosen, and Stacey is among them."

The degree Jones is pursuing at the University of Chicago is similar to a master's in social work degree, but it also prepares the student to handle business issues. Jones said the degree appeals to her because she is extremely interested in working in community development and with youth.

"Social work has always interested me, because I've always wanted to do something where I am involved in the community, but I've always wanted to do something more from an administrative point to make structural changes," Jones said. "I want to do things that are hands on but have an effective change. I think it's worth not being a billionaire to do something that I enjoy and something that helps other people."

The 2006 Jack Kent Cooke Scholars come from 33 states and nine countries. The recipients were selected after a nationwide selection process that drew 1,100 nominees. The graduate scholarships cover tuition, room, board, fees and books -- up to $50,000 annually -- for as many as six years. The scholarships are among the most generous academic awards offered in the United States.

While at IU Jones was active in various Bloomington and IU communities.

This past summer, she helped procure dental assistance for kids who are illegal immigrants. And during college, she worked as a student ambassador for Multicultural Outreach Recruitment Educators (MORE), a student-run organization based in the IU Office of Admissions. MORE's goal is to increase underrepresented student enrollment. Jones spoke on panels, led tours and helped organize overnight programs for high school students interested in attending IU.

Jones was a member of the American Humanics Student Association at IU, where she participated in monthly community service and volunteer events, and coordinated fundraising activities for local non-profit agencies. She also helped organize service events, food drives and annual road sales to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana.

In 2004, Jones participated in a service learning project in Costa Rica, made possible through a Hutton International Experiences Grant. Jones and her classmates took school supplies to students in Monteverde, Costa Rica, and taught children basic English.

"It was my first 'wow this is kind of fun' experience," Jones said. "Through that project, I learned about service learning on campus, in general."

After the trip to Costa Rica, Jones applied to Advocates for Community Engagement (ACE), a campus group comprised of undergraduates who serve as liaisons between IU service-learning courses and community-based organizations. Jones served as an ACE at Head Start in Bloomington, placing volunteers at the local program and applying for financial assistance for Head Start program. Jones also organized a book drive for Head Start, and she assisted another volunteer with the organization's Fatherhood Initiative Program.

This is the fifth year for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's graduate scholarship program. The exact amount and duration of the scholarships vary by student based on the cost of attendance and length of the graduate program, as well as other scholarships or grants the student has received.

Candidates undergo a rigorous assessment by independent panels of academic experts, including graduate school deans, admissions counselors and faculty. The selection criteria includes academic achievement and financial need, as well as the will to succeed, leadership and community involvement.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation that was established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. It focuses in particular on students with financial need. The foundation's programs include scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need.

To speak with Jones, please contact Nicole Roales, IU Media Relations, at 812-856-3717 or