Hastings College names Zarek ’15 Excelsior Scholar

With Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Amy Black and Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages Pedro Vizoso as her faculty sponsors, Jennifer Zarek ‘15 will have plenty of guidance as she conducts research on micro-enterprise programs in Costa Rica. With her designation as a Hastings College Excelsior Scholar, Zarek now has funding to cover her research expenses. 

“Jennifer is a gifted scholar with skills across the curriculum,” said Dr. Black. “She consistently pursues the most interesting and challenging questions and perseveres gracefully through the messy research process. Her project, which involves developing and implementing a tool to measure asset accumulation among recipients of loans in a microcredit program, will directly enhance the mission of the Fundacion Mujer in Costa Rica.”

Established in 2012, the Excelsior Scholar Programs seek student proposals which then are judged on their academic rigor and their potential for the publication in a reviewed national journal or inclusion at a national conference. Consideration is also given to the student’s academic achievement. The award carries funding to facilitate the proposed research. The Grand Island, Neb., resident is the college’s second Excelsior Scholar. 

“The Excelsior Scholar Programs provide students with an opportunity to conduct independent, original research in their discipline,” said Dr. Liz Frombgen, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “In addition to facilitating the student’s academic and research skills, this process also imparts to students the joy of investigation and examination that comes from taking ownership of one’s work.”

Founded in 1882, Hastings College is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review and a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s. Hastings College: Pursue Your Passion®. Visit Hastings.edu for more.

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