news releases

2005.07.22 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Graduate Named Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Omaha - Natalie Black, a May 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), is one of 76 new recipients of a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship.  Black is now attending medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).  Each scholarship is worth up to $300,000 and is among the largest scholarships awarded in the United States.

Black was selected from a nationwide pool of 1,290 nominees from more than 600 colleges and universities.  The scholarships are for studies at professional and graduate schools.  The Cooke Foundation announced the scholarship recipients this week.

"Natalie Black is an amazing young woman who very much deserves this honor," said Rosalie Saltzman, director of the UNO Honors Program.  "In addition to her academic gifts, she is a driven and caring person."

Students attending any accredited college or university in the United States are eligible.  Each institution can nominate up to two students.  Candidates undergo a rigorous assessment at two stages by independent panels of academic experts, including graduate school deans, admissions counselors and faculty.  The selection criteria include academic achievement and financial need, as well as a will to succeed, leadership and community involvement.

"I have always wanted to be a doctor and help people," Black said.  As an undergraduate at UNO, she job shadowed physicians at the Nebraska Medical Center and volunteered in the UNMC emergency room and the Nebraska Medical Center geriatric department.  At UNO, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and minored in chemistry and German.       

"I can't say enough about the professors and teachers who have taught and helped me so much," Black said.  She is from Omaha and graduated from Millard South High School.

Through the scholarships, the foundation aims to help highly motivated, highly driven individuals overcome one of the biggest challenges to their careers - the cost of advanced professional or graduate training.  The value and duration of each scholarship, which can total as much as $50,000 per year for up to six years, varies based on the cost of attendance or other grants each student receives.

With the 2005 round of scholarships, the foundation has awarded more than 500 scholarships, including 209 graduate scholarships. Founded in 2000, the private, independent foundation was established by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. 

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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