Copyright 2010 Scholarship Winners: Liberal Arts

Each year, awards ten merit-based scholarships to students in fields ranging from health administration to criminal justice. We recently caught up with Madison Shipley, our 2010 winner in Liberal Arts and General Studies. Read on to learn how the scholarship has helped her.

By Megan Driscoll

madison shipley Please tell our readers about the education program in which you're currently enrolled.

Madison Shipley: I am working to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Kansas. I am also part of a special program called UKanTeach that offers courses to future educators and helps them obtain licensure in the state of Kansas. What was your previous educational and/or professional background, and how did you become interested in mathematics?

MS: Straight out of high school I was interested in an architecture program. However, after many influential high school teachers encouraged me to follow in their footsteps, and after some hands-on work with high school students, I couldn't resist the urge to pursue a career in secondary education. How has the 2010-2011 school year gone for you so far? What are your favorite things, least favorite things, biggest surprises, etc.?

MS: This school year has been great. I planned my senior year to be one of the best, and it has been just that. The fall was the most interesting and entertaining semester of my life academically. I am currently student teaching and just about every aspect of that has been surprising. It's funny how much you can learn in high school being on the other side of the academic process! In what ways has the scholarship money you received from helped you in your studies?

MS: The financial support from has been great. It's nice to have money for textbooks and supplies! When it comes to college, any extra funds are always helpful. Please tell us about your plans for after you finish your degree. Are you considering more education, a career change or...?

MS: I'm currently still deciding what I will do after I graduate in May. I am considering getting my master's in math, but I am also looking at the teaching jobs in this area. I haven't decided exactly what I will do, but I am sure I will love either option. If you could have any job in your field, what would it be?

MS: Ideally, I would love to be a principal of a school while teaching a section of calculus. I'm really passionate about affecting education, and I think there's something to be said about the influence an administrator can make. I wouldn't want to give up teaching, though, so hopefully I could squeeze in time for a class. Finally, what advice would you give someone who's considering pursuing a similar degree program?

MS: Stick with it. No matter what your degree is in, college gets tough. Especially in mathematics. It's important to stay organized, motivated and driven. With that combination, you won't lose.

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