History - Grand Valley State University

Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars
Stuart B. Padnos founded the Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program in 1999 as an endowed
scholarship program at Grand Valley State University in honor of his late wife, Barbara H. Padnos. The
program was established to provide study abroad stipends, primarily in the Arts and Humanities, for an
extended time period, enabling students to have an in-depth experience in another country.
Over the past nine years, the Padnos International Scholars program has awarded over $620,000 to over
66 GVSU students.
The Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program is intended to support substantive study abroad
programs for GVSU undergraduates. Recognizing the benefit that long-term study abroad can provide to
students throughout their lifetimes, the Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program provides
opportunities for students to engage in long-term study, thereby acquiring an in-depth understanding of
the language, culture, and values of another country. Ideally, Padnos scholars will spend as much time as
possible in the host country/culture. Therefore, only students studying abroad for two semesters or an
academic year at one location will be considered eligible, with special consideration for students who
have a plan to spend more than 10 months abroad (up to and beyond a full calendar year).
The Padnos Scholar selection process is meant to identify the most promising applicants: those who
demonstrate great potential for success through study abroad, as well as those who will positively share
their year-abroad experience with others.
The Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program provides scholarships for yearlong study abroad
programs. The average scholarship ranges from $5,000-$15,000. Awards are dependent on a variety of
factors including: the cost of the study abroad program and other financial aid available to the applicant;
the integrity of the applicant, and the location of study. Students are expected to engage in serious study
for an extended period of time (minimum 9 months) in an approved study abroad program. Preference for
the largest award will be given to qualified applicants who plan to be abroad longer than 10 months.
Students are required to meet with study abroad staff prior to departure in order to ensure courses taken
abroad can be transferred back to GVSU.
Students receiving need-based scholarships, grants and/or other forms of financial aid may have their
financial aid reduced, based on federal, state or institutional requirements. While students in all academic
majors are encouraged to apply, applicants in the Arts and Humanities will be given preference in the
selection process. No funding will be provided for summer programs or programs that are less than 2
semesters in duration.
Applicants must meet the requirements of the specific study abroad program for which they are applying.
Study Abroad programs may have different requirements from the requirements of the Barbara H. Padnos
International Scholars program. Awards are contingent on the applicant’s acceptance into a study abroad
program that is approved by the Barbara H. Padnos International Center.
Students are encouraged to select a study abroad program carefully, with the assistance of the Barbara H.
Padnos International Center staff and Department faculty, so that it will be consistent with academic
program requirements at GVSU.
-1Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars must accept certain responsibilities, and your application
implies consent on the following:
1. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will write an initial thank you note to the Padnos family,
and write at least one follow-up note to the Padnos family about the impact of the experience on
you (e.g., a note while you’re abroad, and one after you return to the US).
2. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will permit GVSU to use our name and contact information
in publicity. For example, you will be identified in campus publications as a Padnos Scholarship
3. Scholars will also be expected to develop and carry out a plan that describes their experience to
various community and campus groups, thereby sharing the experience in the broadest sense and
encouraging other students to study abroad.
Students must meet the following requirements for application:
 Be a full-time, degree-seeking student at GVSU, and have earned a minimum of 24
GVSU credits by the time of application;
 Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher;
 Be planning to spend at least two full semesters in the host country/culture, ideally a full
calendar year.
 Meet academic and personal requisites for the study abroad program to which the
student is applying;
 Students must have a pending approval or accepted GVSU Study Abroad application
(OASIS) on file with the Padnos Int’l. Center.
 We will reference OASIS recommendations for scholarship application.
 Grant Padnos International Center and GVSU permission to publicize their receipt of the
award and the destination country in which they will study;
 Be willing to participate in a finalists interview, if requested; and
 Plan to return to GVSU for at least one semester of full-time enrollment following the Study
Abroad experience.
Students must maintain full-time enrollment in a study abroad program for the duration of the Barbara H.
Padnos International Scholars award.
The selection committee will consider the following attributes in assessing proposals:
- The applicant’s academic preparation and its relevance to the proposed study program;
- The applicant’s prior language training, or serious commitment to language training
pertaining to the target language abroad;
- The applicant’s plan for sharing their experience with others;
- The applicant’s level of motivation to study abroad, as evidenced by the overall plan,
including the utilization of the experience in academic and/or professional goals;
- The applicant’s plan for study abroad;
- The applicant’s knowledge of the study abroad program in which enrollment is sought; and
- The applicant’s maturity, flexibility, common sense, and cultural adaptability, all of which
are necessary to succeed abroad.
The length of time to be spent in the destination country/culture.(preference given to those
Planning to spend more than an academic year abroad)
Applicants should be aware that other factors will be taken into consideration in the selection process.
These include, but are not limited to: leadership activities; language proficiency (if applicable); oral and
written communications skills; maturity; ability to handle new situations; cross-cultural knowledge and
skills; and personal characteristics suitable to living in another culture.
Preference will be given to students majoring in Arts and Humanities (Art & Design, Classics,
Communications, English, History, Liberal Studies, Modern Languages and Literature, Music,
Philosophy, and Writing). Students majoring in other disciplines may apply. Applicants who are not
majoring in Arts and Humanities will need to provide significant rationale for the program of study and
its relationship to the Arts and Humanities.
Students must complete the program application, including application form and essays. The application
deadline is Friday, February 15, 2013.
A screening committee comprised of the Executive Director of the Barbara H. Padnos International
Center, a member/representative of the Padnos family, Director of Financial Aid, and two or three faculty
representatives will review all applications. Semi-finalists will be designated. The Screening Committee
will interview the semi-finalists and will make recommendations to the Dean for review and final
Announcement of the awards will be made by April 16, 2013.
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