Press Release, Global

September 7, 2020 | By Cole Hatcher

Each fall, Ohio Wesleyan selects a small number of first-year students for admission into its Global Scholars Program. The scholars take special classes, receive funds for global projects, complete a faculty-supervised thesis, and graduate with a global certificate. (Photo by Brian Rellinger)

2020-2021 Global Scholars

Ohio Wesleyan Enrolls 16 First-Year Students in Prestigious Program

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University is welcoming 16 first-year students into its Thomas W. Palmer ’69 and Susan Palmer Global Scholars Program in recognition of the students’ potential for high academic achievement and passion for international issues.

The selective four-year Global Scholars Program is part of Ohio Wesleyan’s Global Studies Institute, a hub where faculty and students from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts come together to explore issues from all academic disciplines and work toward real-world solutions.

Ohio Wesleyan’s 2020-2021 Global Scholars are:

  • Shanzay Ali of Boise, Idaho
  • Eva Birk-Petri of Columbus, Ohio
  • Katherine DiJulius of Strongsville, Ohio
  • Emma Fisher of Hudson, Ohio
  • Gracie Gilbreth of Cumming, Georgia
  • Anneliese Ingraham of Oak Park, Michigan
  • Yoyo Kebede of Washington, D.C
  • Abbie Kline of Fombell, Pennsylvania
  • Kristen Landenberger of Pickerington, Ohio
  • Alexis Lewis of Willoughby, Ohio
  • Melissa Murray of Chardon, Ohio
  • Allie Otworth of Centerburg, Ohio
  • Jeremy Reger of Buffalo, New York
  • Elliot Spicer of Newark, Ohio
  • Abby Thierauf of Milford, Ohio
  • Jacob Weitman of Auburn Township, Ohio

All new Global Scholars participate in a team-taught course during their first semester in which they explore a single issue in depth.

This year’s seminar, “Geographical Perspectives of Nationalism,” is being co-taught by two of the program’s three co-directors, Nathan Rowley, Ph.D., associate professor of geology and geography, and Jeremy Baskes, Ph.D., professor of history.

The seminar introduces the Ohio Wesleyan students to a variety of global issues (geopolitical, economic, historical, environmental, and cultural) using as examples Iran, Spain, China, Nigeria, and Brazil. An overarching theme is how nationalism has shaped the emergence, development, and international relations of these nations.

The Global Scholars also take as a group the university’s first-semester course, “The OWU Experience.” This year, the course is taught by Mary Anne Lewis Cusato, Ph.D., the program’s third co-director and associate professor of French & Francophone Studies.

In “The OWU Experience” course, the scholars learn about the liberal arts, the role of education in shaping both skills and character, and how to make the most of their educational experience over the next four years.

In their junior or senior year, the Global Scholars receive a $4,000 university grant to pursue an approved international research or study project of their choice.

As seniors, the Global Scholars complete a faculty-supervised thesis or capstone project, which they present to one another in a year-end conference. Students who successfully complete all of the requirements of the Global Scholars Program graduate with a Global Studies Institute certificate noted on their transcripts.

The Global Scholars Program is endowed with $2 million in gifts from Ohio Wesleyan graduate and university Trustee Thomas W. Palmer, Class of 1969, and his wife, Susan Palmer.

“This program not only enables experiences of global connection for those directly involved but also for others in sharing interaction,” the Toledo, Ohio, couple said. “In this, OWU continues to differentiate itself as a university dynamic in affording distinctive learning opportunities.”

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Global Scholars Institute at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at