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Katie Girsch wins prestigious scholarship

Each year, the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia invites 18 colleges and universities to recommend one of their students who is in the top 25th percentile of their class.

This year, the scholarship program’s top pick was sophomore Katie Girsch of the Templeton Honors College. It is the first year that an Eastern student has been chosen for the scholarship-award program.

“I was really excited when I got the call,” Girsch said. “When I received the phone call, I was jumping up and down screaming through the phone.”

According to the St. Andrew’s Web site, the St. Andrew Society of Philadelphia was established in 1958 as a non-profit corporation to “promote understanding and relationship between the United States and Scotland.”

The program selects four students by interview to attend four historic Scotland universities including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrew’s. To qualify for the program, the students must be rising juniors.

“She was competing with students of different majors and she was the top pick for what schools she wanted to attend first,” said Jonathan Yonan, assistant professor at the Templeton Honors College. Each scholar in the program will receive $17,000 that will help out with most of their major expenses.

In the beginning of the year, Girsch spoke with Lori Bristol, associate registrar and coordinator of off-campus programs, to find out about study-abroad programs. After hearing about St. Andrew’s, she decided to apply.

“I came really close to not qualifying because they didn’t receive my application,” Girsch said. “I had to resend the application packet all over again.”

For the most part, Girsch is excited to spend next fall in Scotland. “I am really excited, on one hand, because I get to grow and learn, but I’m also intimidated to be in a country that I really don’t know that well,” Girsch said.

At St. Andrew’s University, Girsch will continue to study her major of Biblical studies and theology.

“I guess I just want to soak in the experience, visit as many places as I can and just study hard,” Girsch said. “I just want to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can.”

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