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Hudson and Holland rebuilding scholarships program


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By Matt Bloom




The Hudson and Holland Scholars program is reinstating its incentive scholarships and initiating new collaborations across campus, after scholarships last year were discontinued.

Promises to current students fell through when they did not receive their incentive scholarships last year due to the program’s budget cuts in early 2012.

The program’s budget experienced a $159,659 reduction during the 2011-2012 school year. The changes reduced Hudson and Holland’s full-time staff and prevented the program from offering the special incentive awards to students.

Sophomore Marisa White said the incentive scholarship helped make IU affordable for her.

“I was upset because I’d worked really hard to get the GPA needed for the scholarship,” she said. “I felt frustrated that I was part of this program that was supposed to be helping me out.”

At the program’s annual town hall meeting last Thursday, Director Marsha McGriff announced that the financial aid would again be available for students, giving them potential access to an additional $2000.

“We’re putting it all back together again,” she said.

After composing a survey for students, McGriff said she determined the program’s weaknesses.
“A lot of the students felt like they wanted a more streamlined advising infrastructure between their school and the Hudson and Holland program,” McGriff said.

McGriff said she set out to bring University Division advisors into the HHSP, so freshmen could connect to one advisor instead of going back and forth between two.
“It’s definitely changed the tone of the program,” White said. “Last year seemed really unorganized, and this year it’s really taken a step forward.”

When McGriff became director in October of last year, her staff was comprised of only two people.

“I noticed immediately that we were small but mighty,” she said. “We needed to bring in more people.”

She hired four additional staff members, and she said that an associate director is in the process of being hired.

“When things aren’t efficient, we adapt to meet the needs of deserving students,” she said. “No more hanging out there in the wind and not knowing where we are going.”
In 1988 the Minority Achievers Program, which preceded the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, was implemented due to the University’s lack of qualified minority recruitment.

Re-named the HHSP in 2004, its mission was to foster educational diversity by assuring the obtainment of students from under-represented minority backgrounds with a history of discrimination, according to its website.

Today there are 866 Hudson and Holland Scholars on campus, the largest amount in history.

James Wimbush, the newly-appointed vice president of diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, said he works with McGriff to ensure the growth of the program.
“When you look at the talent that comes in and the work they do, it’s clear it’s a signature of our campus,” he said.

Martin McCrory, vice provost of educational inclusion and diversity, said he expects enrollment in the HHSP to increase in the future.

“It’s a really good time for HHSP, because there’s so much we can do to move ahead,” he said. “We’re not looking at cutting anything, actually the opposite.

“I promise that I will do everything in my power to make this one of the best programs in the nation of its kind.”

Follow reporter Matt Bloom on Twitter @matthew_bloom.

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