November 05, 2010

Gwaltney heads scholarship advisement office

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Pamela S. Gwaltney is the new interim assistant director of the University Honors Program, and head of the Office of Major Scholarship Advisement at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Gwaltney, a Hurst resident, formerly was assistant to the director and associate director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. She also served as liaison with University Housing for the “Political Junkies,” a Living Learning Community for students of all majors who share an interest in politics and current events, in Schneider Hall of Brush Towers. She has past experience in the business communities of Carbondale and Marion.

The Office of Major Scholarship Advisement helps match top SIUC students with highly competitive, prestigious national scholarships for which they are well qualified to apply.

“I’m thrilled to be here to work with these students,” Gwaltney said. “I can’t even begin to describe the optimism in the air for these students.”

As head of the Office of Major Scholarship Advisement, Gwaltney said one of her responsibilities is to match potential students with the major scholarships for which they have the highest competitive advantage.

“I walk them through the application process,” she said, noting that major national scholarships are often very specific when it comes to qualifications and requirements for the application package. While of course the students are responsible for application essays and other academic materials, Gwaltney said she can help them with obtaining recommendation letters from their mentors, and in going over the application package -- often several times -- to make certain everything is included and presented to the student’s best advantage.

She thanked her predecessor, Laurie Bell, who has gone on to a similar post at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Ind., for setting up a program that makes the process easier, and helps students find appropriate major scholarships.

Gwaltney earned both her undergraduate and her master’s degrees at SIUC. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the University Honors Program.

She assumes her new responsibilities immediately in the University Honors Program office, located in Morris Library.