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Stephanie Dowdy-Nava
IU Office of Scholarships

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, October 17, 2008

IU launches first-ever “Scholar Blogs,” offering a glimpse into students’ lives and activities

Oct. 17, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University junior Maritza Arredondo, a health administration major, helped host a Latin American Women's history event last week. Telecommunications and film major Jacob Sherry is settling into his sophomore year with plans to hone his video production skills. Their experiences -- and eventually, the experiences of 10 other IU students -- are being shared with the general public through the IU Office of Scholarships' new "Scholar Blogs."

The first five blogs went live Oct. 15 at One new blogger will be added monthly for a total of 12; all are personable, academically engaged students with a cross-section of backgrounds and interests, and all received scholarships to attend IU. Each new academic year, a fresh crop of 12 bloggers will be selected to write the Scholar Blogs.

Maritza Arredondo

IU blogger Maritza Arredondo

Stephanie Dowdy-Nava, IU's assistant director of scholarships, said this project marks the university's first recruitment- focused student blog. She said that so many students are receiving their college information online, it makes sense to offer a more interactive window into life as an IU student. The Office of Scholarships' Web site, she noted, had half a million hits in the first seven months.

"Students are computer savvy; their scholarship search process happens online. Blogs offer the opportunity for prospective students to read about current scholars, as well as learn about the things happening on campus and the activities related to various degree programs," Dowdy-Nava said.

Bloggers can choose to write about seven topics: Scholar Life, Campus Activities, Classes, Around Bloomington, On the Job, Friends and Everything Else. Each Scholar Blog contains personal snapshots and links to programs in which the students are involved. The bloggers will add new entries at least twice a month.

Dowdy-Nava said that while the blog is open to anyone, the target audience is academically talented students. "This year, the university had the most talented group of incoming freshmen in IU's history. As the applicant pool continues to become more competitive, we're working to show top high school students the breadth of scholarship opportunities available at IU."

The students' diverse experiences on campus will present a more personal picture of what life is like at IU for top scholars, said Dowdy-Nava.

Writes business major Betsy Head, a sophomore originally from Texas but raised in Bloomington: "I am a Kelley Scholar as well as a Herbert Presidential Scholar, and I am pursuing Marketing and International Business majors with a Spanish minor. I am involved with the Council for Advancing Student Leadership, IU Dance Marathon, the Scholarship Advisory Committee, and my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. I love traveling and went to India this past summer. I am also planning on traveling to Africa with a program in the Kelley School this upcoming spring break. I love hanging out with my friends and being a part of the Big Ten culture here at IU! Check back for more updates as the year goes on!"