Fulbright College Announces its 2017 Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship Recipients

Joseph Pardue, top, Abigail Rhodes, bottom, and Jessamy Eve Samuels, right.
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Joseph Pardue, top, Abigail Rhodes, bottom, and Jessamy Eve Samuels, right.

The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas has named the first two recipients of the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship, which was established last year to honor the award's namesake.

Joseph Pardue of Fayetteville, and Abigail Rhodes of North Little Rock, were selected for the award, which will be given to two incoming freshmen each year. Both Pardue and Rhodes will receive $5,000 a year for four years toward their studies, as long as they maintain all scholarship requirements.

The Samuels family and other donors contributed more than $100,000 to create the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship last fall. Jessamy passed away in May 2016 after a tragic fall while hiking at Hawksbill Crag in Newton County, devastating those close to the vibrant 19-year-old freshman. She was an honors student in the Fulbright College and was interested in studying anthropology and journalism.

"Jessamy had an unparalleled love of learning and a constant drive to empower others in any passion that they wished to pursue," said her older sister, Cicely Samuels. "Through this scholarship, we hope to echo her hopes by empowering young people to throw themselves into an educational journey at this fantastic university that Jessamy was proud to call her school."

To qualify for the scholarship award, students must be graduates of a public Arkansas high school, meet GPA and ACT requirements, intend to be an honors student, display leadership abilities and be involved in extracurricular activities.

Joseph Pardue plans to study political science and Spanish, and is considering majoring in both areas.

He enjoys playing the saxophone and competitive road cycling. He currently races for the Breakaway Cycling junior development team, where he has mentored younger racers and worked with athletes such as Frankie Andreau. Pardue said he plans to become an attorney.

"To me, this scholarship means a much greater likelihood that I will be able to attend law school after earning a B.A. in political science and that I will be able to continue cycling at a competitive level, an oftentimes expensive and time consuming venture, throughout college," Pardue said.

Abigail Rhodes plans to study applied mathematical sciences and geology, and her interests vary from etymology to entomology.

She enjoys sketching objects from natural surroundings, meeting new people, observing insect behavior, jamming to everything from '60s rock to electro-pop, hiking and looking up the derivation of words. She was also involved in a competitive dance team and enjoys many styles of dance, though her favorite is tap. Rhodes said she plans to become a bio-statistician or an urban planner.

"I am very humbled to receive this scholarship commemorating such an inspiring young lady," Rhodes said. "I did not know Jessamy, but I feel that we are alike in a number of ways, particularly in the breadth of our interests. Though these interests vary, she reminds me to passionately pursue my academic studies."

For more information about the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship or to apply, please visit the scholarship page.

For more information about Jessamy Eve Samuels' life and legacy, please read this story


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu


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