FOREST CITY – Two Waldorf College students were recently awarded research grants from the Iowa Iota chapter of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Junior creative writing and secondary education major Marisa Donnelly of Naperville, Ill. and senior communications major Phillip Koolhoven of Redlands, Calif. both received $500 grants to further their educational endeavors.
“This year our Alpha Chi officers were looking for proposals where the funding was necessary in order for the student to have a unique learning opportunity,” said Dr. Suzanne Falck-Yi, advisor of Waldorf’s Alpha Chi chapter. “We’re really hoping this will be a learning experience for both Marisa and Phil, that they’ll be able to go more in depth within their fields of study.”
Desiree Diaz, president of Waldorf’s Alpha Chi chapter, helped select the grant winners.
“We received a number of quality submissions, and ultimately we decided on the proposals that would benefit not just the selected individuals, but the school as a whole,” Diaz said. “We strongly believe the two recipients will gain important experiences relevant to their field of study because of these grants.”
Donnelly intends to attend the Iowa Summer Writing Festival this summer with her grant money.
“The festival is an opportunity for writers to gather together and share, edit, and critique their work,” Donnelly said. “One of the greatest things for a writer, especially an undergraduate writer, is to be in community with other writers; thus strengthening one’s own craft. This festival is huge for me because it offers exactly what I need to be successful in my major and my future.”
Koolhoven will use his grant to further his short film project.
“I’m currently working on ‘Simple Job,’ a piece that I wrote and am now directing,” Koolhoven said. “Even a short film like mine will be expensive. The equipment that I plan on purchasing will help make this production as professional as possible.”
Part of Koolhoven’s research will come from learning how to properly use Waldorf’s RED EPIC X camera, the same camera used to film The Hobbit, Transformers 4, and Thor.
“We’re trying to promote scholarship on Waldorf’s campus,” Falck-Yi said. “Of course students can do great research through our library, but sometimes they can’t do a project without extra funding. We’re proud to provide that opportunity.”
Each year the officers of the Iowa Iota Alpha Chi chapter accept grant proposals from Waldorf College students. One grant is reserved for a current member of Alpha Chi and the other is open to all Waldorf students. Alpha Chi is a national honor society that admits membership from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of Waldorf’s juniors and seniors.