Student awarded scholarship for graduate research

Savannah Bell, a master of public affairs degree candidate at Western Carolina University, is recipient of the first-ever Gordon E. Mercer Pi Gamma Mu Scholarship for graduate study.

The scholarship is named in honor of Mercer, professor emeritus of political science and public affairs at WCU. The award is granted on a competitive basis with applicants from around the United States.

A 2010 graduate of Macon Early College and daughter of Joe and Shelley Bell, of Franklin, Bell joined the Pi Gamma Mu International Honors Society during her first year as an undergraduate student.

Bell applied for the scholarship last year, with recommendations from three of her professors. “I am exceedingly grateful for being chosen to receive this scholarship,” said Bell. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at WCU in 2012 and is expected to receive her master’s degree in May.

“We are pleased and honored to learn that the first recipient of this competitive national scholarship is one of our own,” said Roger Hartley, director of the Master of Public Affairs Program at WCU. “Savannah is currently a graduate assistant in our department and a really stellar student.”