Scholarship campaign highlights academic research opportunities

Students at Mount Mercy University had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of scholarship through a unique campus-wide campaign that combined trivia and academia.

The initiative, dubbed the Pathways to Scholarship campaign, used giant posters and game cards to educate and inspire current students and influence how they view scholarship endeavors – culminating in a grand-prize giveaway of a free 32" flat screen TV.

The game prompted students to discover information about faculty and their research projects, requiring them to find the answers to 12 different game questions by reading and absorbing the information on huge posters spread out around campus. Bright and colorful, the posters highlighted academic research, fun facts and reflections from faculty members.

To play the game, students were asked to answer a question on the game card, the answer of which could be found by reading the information on the poster. In the end, more than 600 cards were turned in, helping students appreciate scholarship not just as the financial assistance one receives when entering college, but rather, the academic research one can conduct with a faculty expert.

Each correctly answered game card was put into a drawing for the free TV. Rebecca Cuvelier, a sophomore nursing major from Lawlor, Iowa, was the grand prize winner. Cuvelier turned in 12 correctly answered game cards.

"It was neat to read about the projects going on around campus," says Cuvelier. "It was eye-opening to see which professor was studying what."

Mount Mercy administrators hoped that by showcasing the abundance of research opportunities on campus in a fun and engaging way, it would spark new ideas for future research projects and help students see themselves as future researchers.

"Our goal was to increase faculty-student collaboration in scholarship, and to spark a deeper understanding of research endeavors," says Mount Mercy Dean of Graduate Programs Melody Graham, who was a key contributor to the campaign's efforts. "Research has shown that this type of collaboration is one of the high-impact practices that add value to a student's education, and Mount Mercy is dedicated to offering students research opportunities in a field of their interest. This campaign was a great first step toward that goal."

"I've definitely come full circle," says Cuvelier. "I first thought scholarship was financial aid. Now I know it's not just money, it's academic achievement." 

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