Nelsen awarded St. Catherine's coveted scholarship by David Lias Vermillion High School Guidance Counselor Len Griffith, his staff, and Courtney Nelsen�s parents successfully conspired with officials at the College of St. Catherine, Minneapolis, MN Monday.
The result: Courtney was stunned when, with her parents present, she learned from a conference call from St. Catherine College officials that she has been selected to receive the college�s Elizabeth Ann Beaton O�Shaughnessy Scholarship.
Vermillion school officials and Courtney�s parents, Dennis and Connie Nelsen, Vermillion, had known almost a week in advance that Courtney has been chosen to receive the full-ride scholarship.
They obviously are good at keeping secrets. When Courtney first saw her parents standing in Griffith�s office, she thought they had come to the school because of a family emergency.
Instead, she soon found herself speaking by telephone to nearly half of St. Catherine�s admissions department, who made a conference call to Vermillion High School to inform her that she is the O�Shaughnessy Scholarship winner.
With loud applause in the background, Cory Piper-Hauswirth, associate director of admissions and financial aid at St. Catherine�s, and Heather Doland, one of the college�s admissions counselors, broke the good news to Courtney.
She was so stunned by the good news that she found it difficult to verbally respond at times.
The Elizabeth Ann Beatson O�Shaughnessy Scholarship is the highest honor given to a student entering the College of St. Catherine. The scholarship provides full tuition and fees for four years (currently estimated at approximately $62,000), provided that the student maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Students are chosen based on excellent academic performance, extraordinary artistic or musical talents or outstanding extracurricular accomplishments.
The College of St. Catherine
is the largest Catholic college for women in the nation. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905, St. Catherine�s is a multifaceted institution serving 4,372 students on campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN.
St. Catherine�s offers bachelor�s degrees in the liberal arts and professional fields in both full-time day and weekend formats.
The college also offers professional certificates; degrees at the associate�s and master�s levels; and continuing education opportunities. In all its
programs, St. Catherine�s offers students from diverse backgrounds a spiritual and ethical grounding that prepares them for lives of personal and professional excellence.
After reviewing Courtney�s accomplishments while at Vermillion High School, it�s not difficult to realize why she was chosen to receive this prestigious scholarship.
Her co-curricular activities include basketball, volleyball, softball, recreational, club, USD Women�s Club and varsity soccer, Boys Scouts of America Explorer/Venturer Scout, symphonic band, marching band, Vermillion High School pep band, oral interp, Teens Against Tobacco Use and JETS competition.
She has also participated in the school play M*A*S*H, the school musical Lil� Abner, and the one-act play Revenge of the Space Pandas.
Courtney�s leadership positions during her high school career include being a member of the student council, junior class secretary, senior class secretary/treasurer, South Dakota State Student Council Vermillion Delegate, Science Club Secretary/Treasurer, Drama Club Alternative Officer, Soccer Team representative to the school board and Natural Helpers.
Courtney is a member of the United Church of Christ, Congregational (UCCC), where she has been active in several activities, including the church�s youth group, Passion Play and Pals Program. Her goal is to help establish a new church in the McCook Lake community.
Courtney is also active in the High School Democrats, and distributed flyers in the Vermillion community in support of the Vermillion High School Addition Project.
She is a recipient of the Freshman Scholarship Award, has been named Who�s Who Among American High School Students, and participated in the President�s Education Awards Program.
She has attended the Concordia German Language Camp, The University of South Dakota Drum-Line Camp, the South Dakota State University Basketball Camp and the British Soccer Camp.
She also took part in the UCCC Youth Group Mission Trip to Chicago, the UCCC Youth Group Mission Trip to the Black Hills and the German class trip to Germany.