The Park Scholars are selected with the hope they will develop their talents and take extensive strides in their chosen careers and as community volunteers. To enable them to fulfill this expectation, Park Scholars have access to a set of key resources to help them succeed during and after college.
Park Enrichment Grants
Park Enrichment Grants, initiated in 1998, provide support for Park Scholars to engage in professional and personal enrichment experiences in the United States and abroad. The grants are awarded by a committee composed of NC State faculty members and a Park Alumni Society representative. Awards are funded by the Park Foundation and donor gifts made to the Park Scholarships Enrichment Fund. Grant proposals are due November 1, February 1, April 1, and June 1. For a list of Park Enrichment Grant recipients named between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, refer to the Park Scholarships Annual Report.
The broadening of cultural horizons is a critical element of the Park Scholarships program. Park Scholars can apply for Park Enrichment Grants to support international experiences that range in duration from one week to one year. Students also have the opportunity to apply for travel grants awarded by the Park Alumni Society in order to cover airfare for semester-long study abroad experiences. Students choosing international study in Spain are eligible for grants awarded in honor of the late Vincent Maniscalco ’04, a Park Scholar who studied in Salamanca, Spain. In addition, Park Scholars may apply for additional awards through NC State’s Study Abroad Office.
Faculty play a prominent role in the program by connecting students with professional development opportunities in their chosen fields. While at NC State, Park Scholars benefit from faculty mentoring that helps them make connections in their disciplines and become involved in undergraduate research, or prepare applications for major national scholarships and other grants. Professors provide significant connections with colleagues and research projects at other institutions where Park Scholars may seek to undertake graduate work.
Alumni often provide similar connections, notably in the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. Through the Park Alumni Society, scholars may seek assistance from graduates in finding internships during college and employment afterwards. In addition to receiving faculty assistance, scholars have the opportunity to consult with Park alumni who won major national scholarships to seek guidance on organizing their applications and on preparing for interviews.
Park Scholars, alumni, faculty mentors, and the Park Faculty Scholars all are connected by an exclusive online network, which serves as an extensive communication vehicle within the Park Scholarships community
Plan of Professional Development
The Plan of Professional Development (PPD) allows each scholar to explore available opportunities, to organize them into a coherent and well-reasoned plan of action, and to maintain maximum flexibility in achieving personal and professional goals. These plans are developed in consultation with a faculty mentor in the scholar’s field. The plans are particularly important in guiding their tremendous academic talents and in developing their outstanding potential to excel in coursework, to undertake research and artistic projects, to assume leadership positions, and to engage in community service activities.