sealPurdue News

May 16, 2002

Purdue awards coveted Amelia Earhart scholarships

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University honored two students with its prestigious Amelia Earhart Scholarship during a recent Gala Week banquet.

Kari A. Harness, a junior from Mill Creek, Ind., who is a psychology major, and Terri C. Smith, a sophomore from Indianapolis who is a pharmacy major, each received $2,500. They were selected from a pool of nearly 60 candidates for their leadership and potential for success in their chosen career.

Harness serves as the secretary for Psi Chi, a psychology national honor society. She also is a member of the liberal arts honors council, the Tomahawk service/leadership social fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Era Sigma and Alpha Lamda Delta honor societies. In addition, Harness serves as the volunteer coordinator for the Tippecanoe County Humane Society. She also tutors students for Purdue's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the psychology department.

Her previous experience includes a term as president of the freshman council and executive assistant of the Owen Hall Hussar Club, a co-organizer of the "Take Back the Night" anti-violence march, and a volunteer for the Cerebral Palsy Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Tippecanoe YWCA and the Salvation Army. Because of her strong academic record and aptitude for research, Harness has been accepted into the honors thesis research program.

Smith serves with the student chapter of the NAACP and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Previous service includes a term as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, secretary of Student National Pharmaceutical Association and senator for the Itasca Club of Earhart Hall. She also was a member of the Pre-Pharmacy Club for two years. To further her career goal as owner of a compounding pharmacy, Smith has attended a PCA Compounding seminar in Houston.

Carolyn Gery, associate vice president for development and selection committee co-chair, says both Smith and Harness emulate the life of Amelia Earhart.

"This year's applicants were really outstanding," Gery says. "Those we selected are the very kind of students Amelia would have liked to meet."

Tony Hawkins, dean of students and selection committee co-chair, says he was impressed with Smith's fortitude.

"Terri Smith has demonstrated her leadership commitment and dedication even during times of personal crises," Hawkins says. "Others would have given up leadership roles to focus on personal issues, but Terri feels a strong commitment to complete her responsibilities, no matter what problems she encounters.

Hawkins says Harness is a good motivator.

"Kari Harness leads by doing and by getting others to join her," Hawkins says. "She has managed to juggle academics, student activities and employment all at the same time. Harness works to improve the standards in any organization with which she is involved. She doesn't see hard work as a hardship; instead, she sees it as a growing experience."

The endowed Amelia Earhart Scholarship was established by Purdue alumna Doreen Simmons, who received the scholarship herself in the early '70s.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Carolyn Gery, (765) 494-6902,

Tony Hawkins, (765) 494-1239

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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