Hudson & Holland Scholars Program open house attracts current, future students

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A mix of new and familiar faces showed up at the Hudson & Holland Scholars Program’s open house Thursday afternoon. Prospective IU students, IU Bloomington freshmen, returning students, and campus partners mingled and enjoyed refreshments in the program’s bright new space on the third floor of the Admissions Building, 300 N. Jordan Ave.

“We recently moved in, so the open house was intended to introduce the space to our students and our campus colleagues,” said Hudson & Holland Scholars Program Director Marsha McGriff. “However, we’ve had some prospective students come, which is an amazing opportunity for them to interact with HHSP staff and our partners, but also with students in our program who are also in attendance.”

One of those prospective students was Elena Herrera, a senior at Bloomington North High School.

The thing that I really like about it is you already have an immediate family. You have people to turn to, no matter what, and it’s nice to have people to go to when you feel kind of lost in the sea of people at IU.

Kenlynn Albright

My dad heard about it and said it sounded like a good opportunity to have another home base in college. He said that it would be a good place to get help studying, academic advising, and for people to check up on you,” said Herrera. “Because IU is such a big school, it would be a really cool group of people to always have around.”

Chatting with her about Hudson & Holland was IU sophomore Erika Ramos, who jokingly admitted that she’d been “bothering” Herrera about the program’s benefits.

“It’s just a great support system. I established a friendship with my adviser, Mimi  [Dr. Miriam Attennoukon, Ph.D., the program’s STEM coordinator ], and Rachel [Boveja], another one of the advisers. Mimi has guided me through troubles with classes and now that I’m considering changing my major, she’s been really helpful with that. If I’m ever struggling, I know that Mimi’s here and she’s going to do whatever she can to help me,” explained Ramos, an Indianapolis native.

“Where they used to have the office, it was not as convenient of a location for me. This is brighter. It’s just nicer. I really like coming here. I was just studying here with one of my best friends at IU, who I met through the program.”

IU freshman Kenlynn Albright is new to the program, so she wanted explore the new digs while taking advantage of the refreshments.

“I was coming from a class and heard about the free apple cider, but I wanted to look around and meet with my adviser, too. So that was nice, because I got to talk to her and make a connection,” said Albright. “The thing that I really like about it is you already have an immediate family. You have people to turn to, no matter what, and it’s nice to have people to go to when you feel kind of lost in the sea of people at IU.”

That’s exactly what McGriff is aiming for.

“The campus is putting a lot of resources behind Hudson & Holland to make sure that prospective students and current students can see that they can be supported and loved on this campus. We keep lots of refreshments in the student room. We have computers, a printer, a whiteboard, and everything they might need to be comfortable. My office is right next door, so I’m never inaccessible,” said McGriff.

“We’re still growing and breaking records—Hudson & Holland is now the largest scholarship program at IU. We have close to 1,500 high-achieving underrepresented minority students. Our retention rate is close to 97 percent, graduation rates are in the high 60s, low 70s for four-year graduates, and if you add five years, close to 90 percent. So whatever it is that Herman Hudson and James P. Holland envisioned for this program, it has been actualized.”