Ralph George Scholars


The Ralph George Berry Scholars Fund in Psychology is part of the Berry Scholars Program, the George Scholars are supported through the generous gift of the George family. The George Scholars Program is named after Mr. Ralph George who was a 1940 graduate of Berry College in the agricultural program. Mr. George completed his graduate education with a M.A. and Ed.S. in psychology from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. After serving in the military during World War II, Mr. George’s career included work with the Boy Scouts, a counselor working with boys and their families, a research assistant at the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University where he helped to collect the standardization data for the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; an assistant professor of psychology at Austin Peay and Northeast Louisiana State Universities; and ultimately as the director of psychological services at Nashville, Tennessee’s Clover Bottom Development Center from which he retired in August, 1980. He was a lifelong friend and advocate of Berry College and was a regular participant in numerous alumni work weeks at Berry. After his death in September 2002, Mr. George’s wife, Virginia, and daughter, Lee Anne, continued their interest in and involvement with Berry College and recently generously chose to endow a student research-based scholarship program in Mr. George’s name. 

The George Scholars Program is designed to help Berry psychology students in their junior and senior years. The goal of the program is to help students move beyond the excellent academic characteristics of many Berry students to a superlative level through a one-on-one working relationship with a psychology faculty mentor. George Scholars will be selected based upon their performance at Berry during their first 1½ years and who show clear potential for an outstanding level of scholarship throughout their remaining career at Berry. Scholars will be expected to interact with and learn from the other George Scholars and to participate in the annual Berry College Symposium for Student Scholarship. 

Students with no fewer than 45 hours and no more than 67 hours and their faculty mentor will be invited to apply jointly to be named George Scholars/Mentors. Students will be selected based upon their Berry GPA, psychology coursework GPA, campus activities, and faculty/staff recommendations. Students must include a cover letter that addresses their experiences at Berry, their evolving academic and career goals, and their initial plans for the use of grant funds. In addition, there must be a clear statement about the likelihood of success of the mentor and student collaboration. Faculty mentors must be able to demonstrate their ability to mentor successfully the research of the students in an extraordinary way - that is, beyond the usual role of faculty adviser. 

Each George Scholar will receive up to a $4000 grant to be used over the last two years at Berry; the faculty mentor will receive $1000 to support the mentor’s professional goals. This scholarship can be used to pay for research related costs such as computer hardware and/or software, testing instruments, materials and supplies, workshop or conference registration and expenses, and books/reference materials. This grant cannot be used to cover tuition, fees, room, or board at Berry College. Each Scholar will develop a two-year academic research plan, working closely with their faculty mentor. Selection of the Scholars will be based upon the clear potential to develop and complete a dynamic research plan. The faculty mentor will continue to work with the Scholar throughout the two years. It is expected that the research plan will be completed in this two-year period. 

The Scholar’s plan must go beyond the scope or expected outcomes of the academic major. The initial plan, once developed by the Scholar with the faculty mentor’s support, must be approved by the Department Chair, Dean, and Provost. All aspects of the program will be the responsibility of the Department of Psychology and directed by the coordinator of the Psychology Lab.

Ralph George Scholarship Application

Past George Scholars