Student earns Phi Kappa Phi fellowship to continue research, academic study
Friday, June 28, 2013
MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Bret McCandless, a May 2013 bachelor's graduate in music and social sciences, Overland Park, is a 2013 Phi Kappa Phi fellow.
McCandless, a summa cum laude graduate of the university, is one of 51 students nationwide this year and one of 22 students from Kansas State University in the past 25 years to earn the $5,000 fellowship. McCandless was named the Marjorie Schoch fellow, one of the honor society's nine named fellowships. Selection is based on the applicant's expected success in graduate or professional study as determined by academic achievement, service and leadership experience, career goals and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.
"Each chapter of Phi Kappa Phi is only allowed to nominate one student to compete at the national level," said Jim Hohenbary, Kansas State University assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships. "Even in a strong pool of applicants for that nomination, Bret stood out for his excellent academic record and breadth of course work. He also presented a very articulate vision for his future career as a music librarian and musicologist. It's great news to find out that the national selection committee was as impressed as we were."
The fellowship will be applied to McCandless' first year of graduate study at Indiana University, where he will study library science and musicology in the Jacobs School of Music.
"I really want to help students hone their research skills and explore music through library resources," McCandless said. "I also want to help established music professionals with their research needs."
Music is a way of life for McCandless. He joined his first choir when he was 4 years old and started playing the cello in elementary school. He continued to perform as both a singer and a cellist while at Kansas State University. He is interested in the history of classical music and American musical theater. McCandless interned at the Riley County Historical Museum, researching the history of several musical artifacts.
"Music, like all art forms, really reflects human culture and its historical trends. I am drawn to music because it relates to so many different fields: philosophy, religion, anthropology, history, aesthetics and theater. With the fellowship I will be able to continue my own research desires, which are extremely varied; I am a very curious person," McCandless said.
While a student at Kansas State University, McCandless was a member of Kansas State Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra as the principal cellist, Concert Choir, Collegiate Chorale, Music Student Advisory Council and a member of the Kansas Intercollegiate Orchestra. He was also a choral ambassador, a Presidential scholar, Wabash Cannonball scholar and an orchestral scholar. He composed two pieces selected for the university music program's spring and fall 2011 performances. In April 2012, he received the university's Phi Kappa Phi chapter's undergraduate scholarship and the Pi Kappa Lambda Outstanding Junior Music Major award.
A graduate of Shawnee Mission South High School, McCandless is the son of Tim and Jo McCandless, Overland Park.
To learn more about competing for future Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships or other scholarships while a student at Kansas State University, contact Jim Hohenbary at firstname.lastname@example.org.