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A Western Illinois University management major is one of only 20 undergraduate students in the U.S. to be awarded the annual Lagrant Scholarship. Devin Johnson (Alexandria, VA), a sophomore minoring in political science, will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the non-profit Lagrant Foundation. A total of 40 scholarships are awarded each year—20 to undergraduate students and 20 to graduate students.
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WIU Honors, Management Student Awarded National, Competitive Lagrant Scholarship

April 16, 2015


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MACOMB, IL — A Western Illinois University management major is one of only 20 undergraduate students in the U.S. to be awarded the annual Lagrant Scholarship. Devin Johnson (Alexandria, VA), a sophomore minoring in political science, will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the non-profit Lagrant Foundation. A total of 40 scholarships are awarded each year—20 to undergraduate students and 20 to graduate students.

According to the Lagrant Foundation, the mission of the scholarship program is "to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations by providing scholarships, career and professional development workshops, mentors and internships to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/ Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students."

Johnson is also an honors student in Western's Centennial Honors College. He said it was Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy who encouraged him to apply for the competitive scholarship opportunity.

"Dr. Hardy's encouragement really propelled me to continue the process. The application process was overwhelming at times," Johnson explained. "It required me to demonstrate my interests in business and marketing and provide examples of what I could do to promote minority representation in those fields."

Johnson recently completed a WIU Study Abroad program in China and said one of the reasons he chose to attend Western is because of the many educational opportunities the University provides.

"I really like what the campus has to offer—smaller class sizes, sound academic advising, a great honors program, outstanding professors and opportunities to travel. Last semester, my study abroad trip to China gave me a great comparative perspective on manufacturing and marketing," he said. "I am very impressed with Western's business school, too, especially its advisors, faculty and course offerings. I am equally pleased with the political science department, where I am minoring."

According to Hardy, Johnson also serves as a peer mentor through Western's Centennial Honors College and as an Honors College student ambassador.

"Devin is most deserving of this scholarship," Hardy noted. "This is a very prestigious national award for minority undergraduate students who are majoring in business and plan to pursue careers in marketing or related fields."

In addition to Hardy, Johnson said he received support from many Western faculty and staff members.

"I am also indebted to Michele Aurand and Molly Homer, both Honors College advisors; Tim Johnson, my academic advisor; Cathy Onion, assistant professor, management and marketing; Casey Lafrance, assistant professor, political science; and Kayla Duley, instructor, economics and decision sciences, for their overall guidance and for crafting letters of support. All of these wonderful people have contributed so greatly to this accomplishment in many ways," he said. "I also must recognize my family members for their continuous encouragement and support, as well as all the faculty and staff in the Centennial Honors College, WIU College of Business and Technology and the WIU Department of Political Science for all the opportunities and programs they offer to hone my leadership skills."

For more information, contact Hardy at (309) 298-2228 or via email at RJ-Hardy@wiu.edu.

Learn more about Western's Centennial Honors College at www.wiu.edu/centennial_honors_college/.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (WIUNews@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations