Jeanette Burbage, a history major from Merrillville, Indiana, is the 2016 recipient of the Dain Garrett Merit Award. The award, which is accompanied by a $2,600 scholarship, is presented to one student each year who has overcome a significant physical, financial or academic obstacle.
Burbage, who has dealt with speech and public speaking debilitations, has been the recipient of the Indiana Collegiate Associated Press Award and the Gustav M. and Eleanor L. Hoos & Daniel C. & Carolyn O. Scavone Scholarship in her time as a student at USI. She has worked as journalist for The Shield; a tutor for the Writers Room and the Intensive English Program; served as a judge at Indiana History Day; and is a Volunteer at Shy Wolf Sanctuary.
“I have greatly overcome this fear of speaking to and in front of teachers, friends, and family. I make myself speak up and participate in class discussions because it allows me to gain courage”, said Burbage in her application essay. “It is important to always consider that commitment is key to overcoming an obstacle.”
The scholarship was established by Dain Garrett, a USI student who graduated summa cum laude despite struggling with muscular dystrophy. Garrett was the recipient of numerous awards from the USI Department of History, and used funds from those awards to establish an annual prize to help other USI students facing hardships. He passed away prior to receiving a master’s degree from California State University Dominguez Hills. Garrett was the son of Connie Pitzer of Evansville and Don Garrett of Carmi.
Contributions to the Dain Garrett Merit Scholarship are accepted by the USI Foundation.