COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Mortar Board National Foundation proudly announces that Oliver Wyckoff is the recipient of the 2012 Mortar Board Ruth Weimer Mount Fellowship, a $2,250 award. Oliver is a recent graduate of Beloit College, where he earned a baccalaureate degree summa cum laude in political science. In the fall, he will attend Roskilde University in Denmark to pursue a master's degree in global studies and international development.
Oliver was initiated into the Senior Bench chapter of Mortar Board in 2011 and served as president. In addition to his Mortar Board involvement, he honed his leadership skills as a resident assistant, membership chair of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and representative on the academic advising task force at Beloit College. A dedicated community volunteer, Oliver served meals and helped with operations at the Hands of Faith Homeless Shelter. He also tutored local middle-school children as a contributor to the Beloit College Help Yourself Program, a comprehensive academic program for low-income youth.
Oliver's interest in international relations was engendered by a unique overseas experience in Rwanda. Selected as a human rights delegate with Global Youth Connect, he participated in human rights workshops, debates and site visits with international youth leaders. He also provided volunteer service to the Center for Social Mobilization and Information in Rwanda, aiding in its mission to promote food security, gender equality, economic development, health and nutrition through access to land and property rights. The rich complexity of social issues in Rwanda influenced Oliver's subsequent scholarly research, including an honors thesis and an academic presentation at Beloit College's International Symposium. For his work, Oliver was honored with the Ivan McKinley Stone Prize for International Relations.
A native of Seattle, Oliver was selected as a summer intern in the office of Maria Cantwell, United States Senator from Washington. In this role, Oliver advocated on behalf of constituents requesting federal loan modifications in an effort to mitigate the housing crisis in his home state. The son of Carol Judge and Richard Wyckoff of Seattle, Oliver graduated from The Center School in 2008.
This year, the Mortar Board National Foundation awarded nearly $40,000 in fellowships to 10 exceptional Mortar Board members. Fellowship recipients are chosen based on academic excellence, strong recommendation, scholarly promise and Mortar Board involvement. Since the establishment of the Mortar Board fellowship program in 1941, more than $650,000 has been awarded to assist members in pursuing further study in graduate or professional school.
Mortar Board National Foundation president, Sally Steadman, Ph.D., commented, "These extraordinary students, having already made a positive impact on their campuses and in their communities, share a proven commitment to promoting meaningful societal change. It is with pride that Mortar Board assists them in their pursuit of scholarly, leadership and charitable achievements."
Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, the Society has grown from the four founding chapters to 229 chartered collegiate chapters with more than a quarter million initiated members across the nation.
Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Some notable Mortar Board members include pioneering engineer Lillian Gilbreth, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Emmy-winning actor Rue McClanahan, astronaut and scientist Judith Resnik, adventurer Aron Ralston and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield. Learn more about Mortar Board at www.mortarboard.org.