Press Release, Honors & Scholars

February 6, 2023

Baran Fellowships

Two Ohio Wesleyan Students Earn University Awards to Support Their Graduate School Goals

By Cole Hatcher

Saharla Loyan '25
Willow Bryn Rosser '26

DELAWARE, Ohio – Two Ohio Wesleyan University students have earned competitive Baran Fellowships, which include financial awards to help support their graduate school goals.

The latest recipients of the university-awarded fellowships are sophomore Saharla Loyan of Westerville, Ohio, and first-year student Willow Bryn Rosser of Lakewood, Ohio.

The fellowships are supported by the Jan W. Baran and Kathryn K. Baran Endowed Fund for the Encouragement of Post Graduate Fellowships. Recipients use the funds to complete educational programs, internships, or other initiatives that make them more competitive for graduate school admission or prestigious post-graduate fellowships, including the Fulbright, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships.

Loyan is using her award to support spending spring semester abroad studying in both Rome, Italy, and Kyoto, Japan through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) program.

"The opportunity to travel to such unique countries through this program would also enable me to better understand my academic and professional interests," she said. "Law school, studying the swift erosion of democratic values, constitutional and civil rights law, and how various approaches to teaching history might affect a nation's culture are just a few of these interests."

A future lawyer, Loyan is a double major in Pre-Law and Philosophy and a triple minor in Politics and Government, Sociology and Anthropology, and Women's and Gender Studies.

"Traveling abroad and experiencing firsthand different cultures will allow me to not only become a more effective lawyer but a more informed citizen as well," Loyan said.

Rosser is using their Baran Fellowship to support enrollment in an Ohio Wesleyan Travel-Learning Course that will culminate with a monthlong trip to South Africa in May and June. The course, "Health Communication: Black Women & Feminisms," will enable Rosser to better prepare for a future in healthcare.

"My long-term goal is to become a psychiatrist and specialize in working with children of diverse backgrounds and LGBTQ+ individuals," Rosser said. "My interest in psychiatry specifically stems from the fact that it explores the intersection between a more distinctly medical career versus a counseling career in psychology. I intend to seek ways of making mental health care more accessible by breaking down the barriers between physical and cognitive/mental health."

Rosser anticipates graduating from Ohio Wesleyan with a triple major in Psychology, Pre-Medicine, and Studio Art.

"When I found out about this Travel-Learning Course, I knew that I had to find a way to participate and that it would pull my interests together into a life-changing experience," said Rosser, who plans to create art based on the trip to share in an on-campus exhibit.

OWU's Baran Fellowships were created in 2013 with a gift from Ohio Wesleyan alumnus Jan W. Baran, Class of 1970, and his wife, Kathryn K. Baran, in recognition of the strong mentorship he received as a university student.

To be eligible for the fellowships, students must be in the Honors Program or have an excellent academic record (usually a grade-point average of 3.7 or higher) with a high probability of success in a post-graduate fellowship competition. Recipients are able to use the funding to support travel-learning opportunities or individualized research or study connecting theory to practice.

Learn more about Baran Fellowships at owu.edu/baran and more about the university's Leland F. and Helen Schubert Honors Program at owu.edu/honors.


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 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book "Colleges That Change Lives" and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review "Best Colleges" lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.