Karis Durant, a UNT senior from Argyle, was one of six students in Texas to have been selected for a $5,000 Texas Conference for Women Scholarship.
Durant says that when she received a phone call earlier this month from Anita Perry, spouse of Gov. Rick Perry, informing her of the news, only two words could describe her reaction: "shock" and "surprise." She received her award and met with the governor and first lady of Texas on Oct. 4 at the Texas Convention Center in Austin.
Durant, whose multitude of public service and volunteerism has landed her internships in the office of Texas Sen. Jane Nelson and the White House Office of Public Liaison, also is a member of the UNT Honors College with a perfect grade average.
As a political science major and music minor, Durant is described by James Duban, director of UNT's Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, as "an interdisciplinary wonder." Initially wanting to study piano performance, Durant decided that her interest in political science should take precedent in her career goals while she continues to vie for opportunities in the state and national level.
Since her arrival at UNT in Fall 2004, Durant has remained on the President's List for having a perfect GPA and has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Denton Music Teachers Association Scholarship. In addition, UNT has nominated Durant for two other scholarships: the 2007 Rhodes Scholarship and British Marshall Scholarship.
"These scholarships have improved my college experience by allowing me to stay actively involved in the community. I've been blessed with wonderful parents that raised me to work hard, always do my best, and ‘if at first you don't succeed, try and try again,'" Durant says. "The UNT community has also been wonderful. I've had so many excellent professors, advisers and mentors that have encouraged and helped me since my first day on campus."
Durant was home schooled by her parents, Rodney and Jayme Durant of Argyle. She will graduate next spring and says her dream is to one day serve as an elected representative. Durant's biography will be posted on the conference web site and she will participate in a short video to be shown during the conference as well.
UNT News Service Press Release
Nancy Kolsti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.