Samantha Hartman officially received her award last spring at Monmouth College's annual Honors Convocation. Also pictured is President Clarence Wyatt

MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS (April 11, 2024) Samantha Hartman ('24) of Chadwick, Illinois, knew something special was happening last spring when she replied to a request to visit business professor Mike Connell's office and saw that several other faculty members from the department were there, as well.The gathering was to let Hartman know she'd received the prestigious Tom Johnson Scholarship, which carries a $10,000 award.

Presented to a Monmouth College student by the Edward Arthur Mellinger Educational Foundation, the annual scholarship, named in honor of the foundation's former president, is presented annually to a junior who best exemplifies Johnson's work ethic and values.

"Tom worked his way up from modest beginnings as a farm kid in [nearby] Roseville to become the president of a Monmouth bank," said Connell, who was instrumental in the creation of the scholarship, which "celebrates the values of those who believe in hard work and facing challenges head on."

Hard work pays off

As part of the application process, Hartman wrote a paper reflecting on her life experiences in relation to her work ethic and character. In addition, a resume and personal references were required.

Winning the scholarship was a major goal of Hartman's since the moment she heard of it, and she said she was delighted to receive the good news in front of several faculty members.

"I was extremely excited when Professor Connell brought me to his office to deliver the news, especially when I saw all the other professors were there to congratulate me, as well," she said.

"Sam models the virtues of the Tom Johnson Scholarship — conscientious, hard-working, involved in many things, and helps others as a tutor and other ways," said Connell. "Monmouth College's motto ought to be, 'Mentoring students like Samantha Hartman — it's what we do every day.'"

Hartman has always been committed to Monmouth's accounting program, and she believes that commitment played a part in winning the scholarship. Her enthusiasm for the discipline, her will to succeed, and her Dean's List grades were factors, but she's made other important contributions as well.

"What I think qualified me most for this award was my dedication to our accounting department," said Hartman. "I have worked extremely hard to keep my grades high despite having a transitioning department at the time. Throughout that transitional year, I helped with the accounting search and provided feedback to our professors to give a student perspective on the search for new professors."

Her Monmouth experience

Hartman said she chose Monmouth for its small-town atmosphere and opportunities to form close relationships with professors. She's always known how important it was to her that her instructors knew her by name, and she's received that personal touch from the very beginning of her Monmouth experience."I've had some wonderful experiences academically and over-all at Monmouth," she said. "I've been encouraged to think deeper in many classes, pushing me to work harder than what is necessary. Along with that, the department has trusted me, giving me great experience in the accounting search as well as in tutoring for the department, which has allowed me to grow even more — not just as a student, but as a person."During her time at Monmouth, the accounting and business administration major has also worked in the College's business office and been a speech assistant.

Hartman said she has some "beautiful memories" of Monmouth that she will cherish forever, including participating in a study-abroad program in Italy her sophomore year, as well the College's Homecoming traditions, including the Spirit Shout and fireworks.

Beyond Monmouth, Hartman plans to pursue her certified public accountant license. She will begin working for the accounting firm Wipfli LLP as an auditor in August.

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