By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Chase Howard, a graduating senior from Sellersburg, Indiana majoring in political science, has been selected to receive the IU Regional Law Scholar award for the 2020-2021 academic year.
He is one of just three students from across the entire IU regional system to be so honored this year, and the third from IU Southeast since the program was launched in 2016.
The IU Regional Law Scholarship provides a minimum of a renewable half-tuition scholarship, as well as guaranteed experiential learning opportunities or paid employment as a research assistant following completion of 32 law school credit hours. The total value of the scholarship is approximately $40,000 over three years.
To be considered for the scholarship, interested applicants must complete an application to the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law. To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must receive an admission offer from the law school. Each campus can nominate up to three individuals for consideration. A total of three award recipients are selected by a scholarship committee.
Howard’s academic journey has been successful, but not linear. By his own admission, he was initially a somewhat unmotivated student without greater goals beyond an undergraduate degree. Now he will graduate from the Honors Program with High Distinction.
Howard credits IU Southeast instructors, fellow students and mentors with helping to awaken his academic ambition and work ethic.
“The rigor and curriculum of the courses at IU Southeast do a great job of encouraging critical thinking, creativity, and the motivation to dive deeper and learn more,” Howard said.
In particular, Howard notes the impact of courses like Constitutional Law and Principles of Management with developing his foundational analytical and research skills in these disparate areas.
At the same time, he acknowledges the support of Honors Program Director Dr. Rebekah Dement in building his speaking, writing, and research skills, and Dr. Rhonda Wrzenski, associate professor of political science and pre-law advisor in providing valuable guidance during the law school and scholarship application process.
“Chase continues the strong tradition at IU Southeast of nominee selections since the inception of the award,” Wrzenski said. “He had his choice of law schools and will be able to graduate with very limited debt thanks to the award and his hard work at IU Southeast.”
While at IU Southeast, Howard has participated actively in student organizations, including Tau Kappa Epsilon, the Honors Program, Campus Activities Board, Student Government, and the Center for Mentoring.
“Each organization was able to offer me unique experiences, various leadership roles, and unforgettable memories,” Howard said. “I owe a lot to my on-campus involvement, as it helped to shape the student, person, and leader I am today.”
Initially Howard aspired to a medical career, but was won over to the legal world during a course in business law that provided not only a view of the many fields of legal practice, but also enabled him to meet and observe jurists at work. Like medicine, the law also dovetails with Howard’s service ethic.
“I have always had a deep passion and interest in law, as I believe in utilizing it to help others.” Howard said. “Not only will law school provide me the opportunity to do this, but it will also allow me to enhance and improve the world around me.”
For Howard, IU Southeast has been a pathway not only to a potential career, but to a greater sense of self and citizen.
“IU Southeast has had an unbelievable impact on my life, offering me a challenging, rewarding, and expansive education that has allowed me to become a better person and student, while simultaneously fueling me to achieve my biggest dreams ,” Howard said.
Homepage photo courtesy of Chase Howard.