RSU Arts Students Receive Scholarships, Recognitions

Four area art students have been awarded Possibilities Scholarships to benefit their fine arts education at Rogers State University, while two of the students also have received awards from the Higher Education Cultural Roundtable.

This year’s Possibilities Scholarship recipients include RSU junior Francyne Melberg of Catoosa, juniors Hope Longacre and Jordan Wong, both of Claremore, and senior Crystal Walters of Pryor. They were selected for the scholarship based on work submitted to the RSU Student Exhibit.

The Possibilities Scholarships, one in the amount of $500 for Walters’ last semester at RSU and the others for $1,000 for the upcoming academic year, were provided by Leonard and Kathy Szopinski of Broken Arrow, who founded the Possibilities Scholarship Program at RSU three years ago.

“We have been amazed watching RSU’s student artists develop and mature during the years we’ve been affiliated with the university,” said Leonard Szopinski, who is the director of the physical plant at RSU and a registered architect. “Kathy and I strongly believe in the power of arts education, and we’re honored to support these talented, emerging artists.”

Walters and Wong were honored with Possibilities Scholarships last year.

Wong and Melberg also have been announced as recipients of the Martin T. Letcher Student Patron of the Arts Award from the Higher Education Cultural Roundtable, which consists of administrators and professors from RSU, the University of Tulsa, Northeastern State University, Langston University, Oral Roberts University and Oklahoma State University who support the growth and quality advancement of arts in the area.

Wong earned first place and a $700 cash award, while Melberg received second place and a $400 award. The students will be honored during an April 18 ceremony in Tulsa.

Walters, who was recognized with the second place Student Patron of the Arts Award last year, will present a 10- minute slide show of her art to Roundtable members during the ceremony, as well as discuss the financial benefits of winning last year’s award.

All four winners will be invited to show their work at the RSU art festival Art on the Hill, to be held Sept. 20-21 on RSU’s Claremore campus.