Linfield College freshman Eric Lawson of Mill Creek, Wash., is the newest addition to Linfield’s prestigious Kemper scholar group. Kemper scholars are chosen from a select 16 liberal arts colleges around the country, with one scholar typically named for each school.
Kemper scholars receive annual scholarships up to $10,000 based on need during their sophomore, junior and senior years of college. They also receive stipends to cover the costs of their work as interns in major nonprofit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year. Scholars work in positions where they can learn about such things as financial management, organizational strategy, fundraising and nonprofit administration.
During the summer following their junior year, scholars receive summer stipends to cover the costs of a learning opportunity in an internship in a for-profit corporation. Kemper scholars attend a national conference to discuss summer projects, meet with former Kemper scholars, and consider topics in administration, leadership and business. They periodically read and discuss major works on leadership, service, ethics, or business; and they have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss the scholars’ academic and professional goals, as well as their hopes for future careers and learning opportunities.
Lawson is majoring in marketing and minoring in psychology. He also plays on Linfield’s baseball team and was recently selected to be a resident advisor for the 2013-14 school year.
“I am interested in marketing and psychology because I want to know why people do what they do,” Lawson said. “For example, I want to know more about how advertisements affect our actions. I think the Kemper Scholarship Program encourages this type of thinking.”
Lawson first learned about the Kemper scholarship from his inquiry seminar with Hillary Crane, associate professor of anthropology. Lawson started the application process over winter break and recommends future applicants do the same.
“Don’t try to tell them what they want to hear, just tell them about you,” Lawson said. I gave them the honest truth about who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.”
Lawson hopes he can spend the summer after his junior year in an internship with the Mariners or Amazon. He also hopes that the internship and national conference in Chicago will help him create connections with businesses and hone career goals.
“I don’t have specific goals of what I want to do for a living yet. I do know I want to inspire people and be around people,” said Lawson. “I want to be able to affect people in a good way.”