Marketing & Communications

Meet scholarship recipient Summer Bell

Hometown : Detroit
Major : Psychology, with a minor in business marketing
Scholarships : Sidney A. Ribeau President's Leadership Academy; BG Success Scholarship; BGSU Tuition Scholarship for Underrepresented Students
Involvement : WFAL-AM radio, University Activities Organiz

Summer Bell had her heart set on BGSU as a high school student, although her mom, a single parent, urged her to choose whichever university could provide the best scholarship package. When Summer learned that she had been selected for the President's Leadership Academy at BGSU - which provides a full tuition scholarship, close mentorship and leadership training - her mom couldn't contain her excitement. Summer became the first in her family to attend college.

"She embarrassed me at the postal office by yelling out the window, 'Thank you Jesus,' to everybody who walked by," the Detroit native said, laughing.

Summer stays busy with her studies in psychology and her service for WFAL-AM radio. She calls the organization "my heart," and has watched the station grow during her nearly four years of involvement. She volunteers as a liaison to other student groups on behalf of the organization, and helps book other WFAL-AM volunteers as DJs for many student-run events on campus. In the summer of 2011, she studied abroad in Spain in a program designed for students who may not know a word of Spanish. She still cannot speak fluently but she enjoyed the experience.

As a senior with plans to graduate in August, 2013, Summer hopes to enter a combined master's and doctoral program at Temple University. She plans to pursue her master's degree in social work and Ph.D. in psychology. She credits the President's Leadership Academy for her academic success.

"I really love the President's Leadership Academy. It is a family, not just a scholarship," she said. PLA mentors "watch you grow, support you, make sure you are going to class, and doing well in class. They are basically our parents at BG."

Why BGSU ? "I came to BGSU because I loved the campus. I wanted a school that wasn't too big but not ridiculously small. I did not want to be just another number."

What is your dream job? " I want to ultimately have a private psychology practice, and to run a program for inner city children in order to promote post-secondary education. I love to consult people and help people. That's been a gift since I was a kid - people would tell me their issues or their problems. I want to benefit change in the system of psychology and in people's lives."

Advice for first-year BGSU students? "Get like-minded friends with goals, and higher goals than yours. Find the resources and utilize them. And just believe in yourself. …Especially for students of minority, because I am a student of minority coming from a big city, it definitely is a change and culture shock. But as long as you stick with it and learn how to enjoy it, it will be the most wonderful experience of your life."

(Posted January 14, 2013)