Student Spotlight: Freshman criminology major receives C. Edward Keller scholarship

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The first-ever recipient of the newly founded C. Edward Keller Scholarship for Indiana University of Pennsylvania criminology majors is Rose Solomond (freshman).

The scholarship is funded by IUP alumnus C. Edward Keller (Class of 1974) of the Beaumont Foundation of America.

Before becoming chief operating officer, Keller served eight years with the Maryland State Police and 20 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the foundation’s website, it is “dedicated to enriching the lives and enhancing the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families and the elderly.”

This is done by supporting organizations, such as IUP’s department of criminology and criminal justice, that seek to improve the lives of people by providing the tools to become better educated and self-reliant members of society.

The scholarship is a four-year recurring award that covers costs for tuition, fees and books.

It is aimed toward underrepresented groups and low-income families.

However, anyone within the major is able to apply.

Solomond explained how she felt qualified for the scholarship even though she did not directly meet the stated qualifications.

“The thing is, scholarships don’t take into account that my parents have 10 kids, and six of them are in Catholic school,” Solomond said.

“I’d regret it if I didn’t try, so I gave it a shot.”

She is the fourth oldest and one of two currently attending college.

Because of the size of her family, she said she is basically paying for college herself.

Solomond said that because of this, any type of aid, such as the C. Edward Keller Scholarship, helps.

When Solomond was chosen as on the five finalists for the scholarship, she had a Skype interview with Keller and four professors from the criminology department.

It was this interview that ultimately led to her receiving the scholarship.

Solomond is also a member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP.

“I knew [IUP] had a really good criminology program,” Solomond said.

“After a day at the Honors College I really loved how it seemed very close-knit.

“It reminded me of my high school. I wanted to go to a big college, but I liked how this was a closer environment within a larger school.”

Solomond also went on to both explain her interest in criminology and what she hopes to get out of her next four years at IUP.

“As soon as I heard about [criminology], I knew it was something I was interested in, and I felt it was where God was leading me,” Solomond said.

“My goal would be to get a job with a governmental agency ideally with a focus on the Middle East. I’m not dead-set on anything.

“I’m just excited to learn everything I can.”

Solomond also wanted to thank IUP and Keller for the opportunity she was granted.

“I’m very grateful to Mr. Keller for the opportunity,” Solomond said.

“Without his generosity, affording IUP would’ve been much less manageable.”