News Story

NSU Seniors Receive Prestigious Scholarship – June 1

Leadership and volunteerism have always come naturally to Northeastern State University seniors Mary Betancourt (Tulsa, OK) and Natalie Morris (Siloam Springs, AR). Now, through their appointment as Senator Herb Rozell Scholars, each is being rewarded for their leadership and service efforts.

Established to honor of the outstanding works and deeds of former Senator Herb Rozell who dedicated 28 years of public service to the people District 3 and the state of Oklahoma, the Senator Herb Rozell Scholars Program recognizes NSU seniors with tremendous campus and community leadership, outstanding scholastic achievement, and commitment to excellence for the future. Funded by private donations to the NSU Foundation, the scholarship pays for each recipient's expenses for the following year, freeing them to explore additional opportunities for service and leadership.

"Good leaders have a strong sense of direction. They know where they want a group to go and they understand the steps to be taken to get the group there," said Betancourt of the skills needed to become a sound leader. "In order for me to become a great leader I need to anticipate the needs of those around me providing service and support without being asked."

A President's Leadership Class member (and former president), Betancourt maintains involvement in several student activity organizations including the Northeastern Student Government Association and the Northeastern Activities Board. In addition to her volunteer work as a Kaplan student advisor and playground leader for the Tulsa Parks and Recreation Department, she has been a member of several event planning teams and has taken leadership roles for projects including Launch 2005, PLC High School Leadership Conference, MTV's Rock the Vote and MTV's The Real World Campus Invasion. A mass communications - public relations major, Betancourt hopes to pursue event planning on a corporate or nonprofit level upon graduation.

"I guess I'm not afraid of getting in there and getting my hands dirty," said Morris when asked what drives her to be a leader. "To me, a good leader is a well-rounded, organized person. They are people who do things for others and don't necessarily expect recognition for it."

An organismic biology major, Morris enjoys an active scholarly and student life at Northeastern. In addition to serving as the president for the Pre-Professional Health Club, Morris is a member/historian of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES). A volunteer at the St. Francis Health Clinic, she participated in an intensive six-week Medical Educational Program at Duke University where she studied a curriculum of math, sciences, medical education and ethics as well as participating in a Pre-Admission Workshop at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Future plans include attending medical school and pursuing a career in pediatric surgery or endocrinology.

Oklahoma's premier regional University, Northeastern State University operates three campuses and offers nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and Oklahoma's only doctoral program in optometry.

For more information on Northeastern visit the University web site at


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