IU’s Wells Scholarship awarded to South seniors

Iris Kreilkamp, Editor

This year, the Wells Scholarship, a prestigious award that guarantees a full ride to IU among other opportunities, was awarded to seniors Nicky Goh and Katrina Brown at South. 

The scholarship is highly competitive, and, unlike many others, operates with a nomination system. About 18 students are selected each year, from Indiana, other states, and abroad, based on merit, leadership, and an interest in research and work aimed at benefiting the community and world around them. 

Brown, a member of the South robotics team and debate team, who just finished off her senior debate season with a cumulative two state championships and three national qualifications, hasn’t decided if she will be attending IU. “IU has always been a major option, and I do have some other offers from other schools… but the Wells Scholarship is hard to turn down”. 

The scholarship includes a large amount of research support, both financial and otherwise. If she goes to IU, Brown plans on majoring in intelligent systems, a new major at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and IU’s first engineering program. “I’ve actually had the opportunity to get to know some of the professors, because I’ve taken six courses [in the program] already… I really like all the professors there.” Brown also plans on being involved in the extensive study abroad program at IU that comes with the Wells, as well as the IU debate team and the Wells Activism and Volunteer Effort, or WAVE Program at IU if she chooses to attend the university. 

Goh, a member of the South Science Olympiad Team, is planning on attending IU as a Wells Scholar. “I was already sort of expecting to go to IU,” said Goh, “but I definitely wasn’t expecting to get this scholarship.” Typically, Wells Scholars go through a nomination process with their school, but Goh initially didn’t pass South’s interview stage of the process. “I had to self-nominate.. For me, this was a big surprise, because generally the program prefers students to be nominated by their school,” said Goh.

Goh also plans on majoring in intelligent systems engineering, with a concentration in bioengineering, as well as a major in microbiology. As for what got him to this point, Goh claims that hard work in his academics as well as an effort to find what he was interested in helped him succeed. “I didn’t focus solely on academics in high school, I just tried to enjoy everything, and enjoy life really,” said Goh. Goh, who worked in the IU Microbiology Lab as a research intern during high school and competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition and the South Science Olympiad, noted that finding his interests in biology and engineering and putting his energy towards extracurriculars that he really enjoyed helped him succeed more in those areas.

The Wells Scholars at IU are required to attend events throughout their time at IU, a rule that “really fosters a community”, said Goh. “It’s a really diverse group of people… there’s a lot of close interaction between all the Wells Scholars”. The support that the Wells scholarship offers, in the academic as well as social realm, is a big benefit for the Scholars. “It’s definitely great to meet a lot of other people,” said Goh.

There are also benefits like a freshman seminar class for Wells Scholars. “It definitely helps [Scholars] connect… getting to know the other 17 scholars in the program would be a really great way to make friends that would last all four years, and hopefully beyond,” said Brown.

Brown and Goh both agree that the most important thing for their success in high school was finding what they loved, and sticking with it. “Find one or two things you love, and really go for them,” said Brown. And Brown’s secret tip? Don’t underestimate your Panther Plus time. “It’s so important. I got so much done throughout my time at South because of it!” said Brown.