The Honors College

Oakland University names fourth Pescovitz Presidential Scholar

Macomb Township resident Grace Bruck is the fourth recipient of OU’s Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship

icon of a calendarAugust 5, 2022

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Macomb Township resident Grace Bruck is the fourth recipient of OU’s Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship
Grace Bruck and Graeme Harper

Grace Bruck remembers herself as a shy, quiet ninth-grader at Shelby Junior High School. Though she excelled academically, the Macomb Township resident had few social connections and was reluctant to engage with her peers. 

Grace Bruck

Grace Bruck, a graduate of Eisenhower High School and an incoming OU freshman, is the fourth recipient of the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship. 

At the start of her 10th-grade year, at Eisenhower High School, Bruck decided to break out of her comfort zone by joining three school-based clubs. These included student council at the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, a program for academically talented high school students in Utica Community Schools.

She enjoyed discussing various activities and events, and by the middle of the school year, felt confident enough to run for student council president.

“To my surprise, I won,” said Bruck. “That confidence helped me put my all into running student council during the pandemic.”

Bruck organized many activities that allowed students to help those in need and enjoy camaraderie while social distancing. These included making blankets for children through Project Linus, selling Valentine’s candy to benefit the American Heart Association, and hosting a T-shirt design competition and virtual game nights.

Grace and Graeme

Grace Bruck with OU Honors College Dean Graeme Harper

Bruck’s experience in student council motivated her to pursue more opportunities, like leading a research study on the effects of soil contaminants on the mortality of earthworms. She designed the project, distributed tasks among group members, helped collect data and wrote an article based on the findings.

“This project was a turning point in my life,” said Bruck, who plans to major in Biology at OU. “It helped me realize that a research career was right for me, and I finally determined what I liked best about school. It was not a subject, but the fact that I deeply enjoy learning.”

Along with being a leader at her high school, Bruck also supports Abigayle Ministries, a Christian interdenominational nonprofit in Southeast Michigan. The organization helps adult pregnant women and their children achieve self-sufficiency through a faith-based residential housing program.

Shaunda, Grace and Graeme

From left: Honors College Academic Adviser Shaunda Mankowski, Grace Bruck and Graeme Harper

In recognition of her efforts, Bruck was recently selected as the fourth recipient of the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship. The award was established by Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz with the goal of fostering scholarly work and leadership skills of the next generation of community, civic and business leaders. 

“I am still shocked. I read about people my age that do spectacular things, and they are the ones that get scholarships like this one. I never expected to receive such a selective scholarship,” said Bruck. “Not having to worry about tuition is a blessing that will allow me to spend more time studying, getting involved on campus and giving back to the community. This award is truly a gift, and I am grateful to receive it.” 

Administered through Oakland University’s Honors College, the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship program provides direct scholarship support for students entering/enrolling beginning this fall, and creates an endowment for scholarships in perpetuity. To qualify, students must demonstrate intellectual vision and creativity, an ability to solve problems and a commitment to improving their communities. 

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