Sue and I are making our way through our final region -- 14 applications -- and we're ahead of the curve in terms of time (it's not even 10am here yet), so I am going to take a moment to record a couple of quick thoughts:
1) I'm afraid I have not adequately expressed what a joy it is to read these files. Knowing that there are 500+ students out there who are really dedicated to the environment and tribal health care / public policy, and finding 80 of them who are exceptional future leaders in this crucial field is a real confidence-booster. We're going to be ok, and these students will lead us there.
2) The scholarship world is a small one. I picked up the files and glanced over them to make sure I didn't know any of them -- and one name really stuck out to me. A quick search of my mental rolodex reminded me that the candidate was a Truman finalist in the same region as one of my finalists this year, and that my guy had told me about her a bit.
3) What's that Mark Twain quote about 90% of life is just showing up? There are a small number of schools -- mostly with NAFAns at the helm of the scholarship advising team -- that keep showing up in different regions. Simple persistence pays off sometimes. Keep nominating!