BGSU trustees present three scholarships

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Three Bowling Green State University students with outstanding records of leadership, academic achievement and social commitment have been chosen by the board of trustees to receive its Leadership Scholarship.

Laura Burgher, a senior from Greenwood, Ind., majoring in early childhood education; David Johnson, a senior from Canton, Ohio, majoring in communication, and Ericka Maas, a junior from Leipsic majoring in nursing, were presented the $1,000 award by the trustees at their May 7 meeting.

Burgher has successfully balanced many roles at BGSU. As a member of the MAC champion women’s basketball team, she “has been a leader through her incredible work ethic, consistency, communication and as a tremendous teammate,” said her academic coach, Kevin Eckert.

A straight-A student with a 4.0 grade point average, she used that work ethic along with her strong organizational skills in her University classes as well as her student teaching, said Diann Brown, one of her faculty members in the College of Education and Human Development.

Despite the heavy demands of being an elite athlete and top student, Burgher has also given significant time to helping others. She has been a tutor and volunteer in the community, from Habitat for Humanity to coaching basketball to distributing shoes to the needy in Costa Rica through Samaritan’s Feet.

“Laura’s unselfishness, combined with her successes in the classroom and on the basketball court, have led her to be recognized with such prestigious awards as the Junior Scholar Athlete of the Year, ESPN The Magazine District IV All-American Team, and Academic All-MAC,” said Eckert.

With exceptional communication skills and a talent for leadership, Johnson has distinguished himself in several areas on campus. “He has made quite an impression in the Department of Communication and represents the best we have to offer,” wrote Dr. Aaron Burton, one of his faculty members. Burton said his former student “has a strong commitment to public affairs and the field of communication. Each of his papers was prepared at the graduate level. He is a critical thinker who is always seeking new challenges.”

Johnson has used his communication skills to help the University in several ways. He became a campus tour guide in 2008, and proved so adept and dedicated that he was promoted to the position of Mentor Guide, responsible for educating new tour guides. “David is a wonderful ambassador for Bowling Green State University,” said Michelle Doyle, administrative coordinator of the program. “He is always coming up with new, innovative ideas to help the tour guide program.”

“Aside from being an absolutely outstanding tour guide who is a real ‘difference maker’ for prospective students and their families, David also has served the enrollment area as a Phone Power caller, and effective this past fall, as an inaugural employee of the new Student Enrollment Communications Center,” said Gary Swegan, assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions.

One of a family of 10, Maas has always worked to pay for her education. Despite the many hours she spends at her jobs, she has a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. During her freshman year, she lived in the Natural and Health Sciences Residential Community, where she made use of the many tutoring services. “One of the reasons Ericka has been so successful is her outstanding work ethic and her willingness to challenge herself to higher goals,” said Robert Haar, chair of the public and allied health department and her former academic adviser.

“Ericka is all about giving back, and now she spends part of her time tutoring others,” Haar wrote. She also has a passion for helping others who are less fortunate than she, he added. “I have encountered few students who have a comparable service record, or who strive to be of service to others.”

In her sorority, Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority, she is “the ideal representation of our three ideals: friendship, leadership and service,” wrote Carly Fortman, recruitment chair.


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(Posted May 11, 2010 )