Oklahoma State University
Scholar Development Director makes history PDF  | Print |
Friday, 01 November 2013 19:46

Oklahoma State University alumnus Dr. Joshua Ward is making history as one of the youngest directors OSU has ever hired, but it’s his own history with the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research that could help him make a big difference for the students he’ll serve.

At the age of 26, Ward took over as the director of the scholar development and undergraduate research program this summer, returning to OSU with global experience and knowledge to share.

During his time as a student at OSU, Ward worked with the office to apply for a Wentz Research Grant Scholarship, which he received for his research in academic integrity two of the three years while an undergraduate.

“The Office of Scholar Development, which also directs undergraduate research, made it clear to me as an OSU student that I made the decision to attend a university that values not only mechanical skill and hard work, but also thoughts and ideas,” Ward said.

“I also attended our Cowboys in Cambridge program as an undergraduate, which prompted my interest in studying abroad and ultimately moving to England for graduate school.”

Ward made the trip to the University of Cambridge the summer of his freshman year. The two-week study abroad opportunity, which allows 20 students each summer to experience the coursework and lifestyle at the prestigious university, celebrated its 10th anniversary in July.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from OSU, Ward was ready to return to Cambridge, where he completed his master’s and doctorate degrees in genetics. Most recently, he spent two years as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

"Support for scholar development and undergraduate research is evident across campus, and we're already finding priorities to enhance student academic, leadership, and research experiences,” said Ward, who succeeds long-time director Dr. Bob Graalman, who retired recently.

“I am honored to be in this position,” Ward said. “Giving back to my alma mater while providing students opportunities unique to OSU is a joy.”

The office’s main mission is to provide scholarships for undergraduate research opportunities. In his new role, Ward plans to promote the scholarships, enhance international experiences and develop the office’s recognition and branding.

From freshmen research programs to senior level fellowship awards, the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development provides more than $300,000 annually to students who have shown excellence in all fields of study.

By Kaitlin Loyd