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Scholarship Recipient: Rachel Shapland

From the moment she joined the Huskie family, Rachel Shapland pledged her commitment to the Northern Pact and its key principles. Of those, she identifies purposeful as the one she tries to live out each and every day.

That means Shapland strives to hit her academic goals of graduating in four years with a nursing degree. The junior from Germantown is well on her way with a 3.95 grade-point average achieved through a dedication to being her best, even seeking out extra tutoring to boost her test scores.

"Purposeful jumped out for me because I came to NIU for an education," Shapland said, adding that her learning experience isn't limited to just the classroom.

She’s also broadened herself through involvement in campus organizations – the Student Nurses Organization and Honors Student Association among them – and by volunteering in the community working with children.

"I've learned a lot from volunteering. I think it really came into focus when I started college," Shapland explained. "Grades are important, but they do not define you. I have sought out many leadership positions at NIU in order to grow as a person and as a student.”

Fueled by coffee and a strong support system, which includes NIU professors and faculty, Shapland’s success and drive earned her a Northern Pact scholarship. That honor proved to be an additional motivator for Shapland.

"The first thing that came to mind was that someone wanted to invest in my education," Shapland said. "I really don’t want to disappoint them."

She also gives her time to current and incoming students. Shapland’s work as a summer orientation leader helps welcome future Huskies, while she makes a point of encouraging others to get involved in campus activities "right away" in order to have a full college experience.

Shapland is looking ahead to a summer internship opportunity in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit and hasn’t ruled out possibly seeking an advanced degree down the road. For now, she’s soaking in every moment she can.

"I love NIU. I made the best college decision," she said. "I'm kind of sad that there's only a year left."

The Northern Pact emphasizes among students the key principles of being purposeful, just, caring, disciplined and celebrative within the university community. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded to first-time undergraduate students who are considered based on an essay explaining how he or she represents one of the Pact’s principles.

Apply online for the 2018-19 Northern Pact scholarship.


2016-2017 Northern Pact Scholarship Winner Rachel Shapland.

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