Summer Discovery Grant

Bluffton University encourages you to take a break from wage work for part of your summer to create an experience that allows you to consider new vocational possibilities. This is an opportunity for you to dream a little!

With a Summer Discovery Grant, current first year or sophomore students can design their own 4-6 week summer experience to explore the relationship between vocation and faith. A Summer Discovery Grant may help you discover your calling! 

Up to two students will be awarded grants in the amount of $1,500 each summer.

Grant funds are provided by the Karl Schultz Discovery Funds, an endowment established through the gift of Bluffton alumnus, Karl Schultz.

Summer 2024 application

Application for Summer 2024 grants must be submitted by April 15, 2024.
Decisions will be made by April 30.

2023 Summer Discovery Grant Recipient

Leah Bowman, a social work major, said “This summer I have the opportunity to intern for Domestic Violence Services at a non-profit organization called Community Action Partnership Lancaster. Community Action Partnership, or CAP, is the largest anti-poverty organization in my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I will participate in CAP's Children's Program in their Domestic Violence Services department, where they provide psychoeducational and behavioral support for children experiencing domestic abuse. This internship will allow me to explore the possibility of my future career in a social work field such as this one as I shadow licensed social workers, interact with other social work students, and practice my social work skills with children."

2022 grant recipient

Shelby Stammen ’25 A $1,500 Summer Discovery Grant allowed biology major Shelby Stammen to shadow dentists in the Lima area. “To apply to dental school, you need at least 100 hours,” said Stammen. “You put in a lot of time and energy to do that.”

2021 grant recipient

Haley Gill ’23, a nutrition and dietetics major from Indianapolis, Ind., knew she needed to make the most of her summer when she received the Bluffton Summer Discovery Grant. So, she designed an internship that allowed her to volunteer at the Leipsic Community Center and learn more about her field of study.

2020 grant recipient

Meghan Ream ’22, a triple major in biology, pre-medicine and nutrition and dietetics,  explored the link between diet and fertility while researching polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). She collaborated with 2018 Bluffton graduate Laura Galley, a research assistant and student in the nutrition science Ph.D. program at Cornell University.

2019 grant recipient

Rowena Zuercher ’20 a social work and Spanish double major,  created her own internship at Lighthouse Ministries in Canton, Ohio. Her goal was to determine whether to pursue the clinical or administrative route of social work in graduate school.

2018 grant recipients

Timothy Bender ’20, a history and biblical and theological studies double major, spent the summer discovering what he wants to do with the rest of his life. 

Becky Boban ’19, an art and writing major, learned practice really does pay off. Boban attended a writing workshop and devoted the majority of her summer break to the written word.  

Guidelines for eligibility

  • An interest in designing an experience for yourself that will allow you to creatively explore vocation
  • Open to current first years or sophomores
  • Registered for classes at Bluffton University for fall of the year for which you are applying for funds.

Experience guidelines

Typically these experiences are:

  • Organized for a 4-6 week period of time during the summer
  • Positions that you will not be paid for in addition to the $1,500 grant 
  • Not experiences for which you hope to gain college credit.

Application guidelines

To apply, please submit the following items: