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Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship Fund

Intended to honor the life and memory of Ryanne Mace, this fund shall provide financial support to graduate students in the Department of Psychology who are training in the areas of clinical or school psychology and are committed to the professional goal of providing mental health services to community members.

The Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship was established by Eric and Mary Kay Mace in honor and memory of their only child, Ryanne, who tragically lost her life on February 14, 2008. It is their hope that, through this scholarship, Ryanne’s memory will continue to live on and enable NIU students to improve the lives of others through the profession of counseling. The intent of this scholarship is to help others who embody the spirit and strength in character that Ryanne exemplified as a student and most importantly, as a person.

Ryanne Mace had a special ability to help and comfort people because of her innate compassion and empathy. In high school, Ryanne made a point to extend her friendship to those who felt that they didn’t quite fit in. She was level-headed and non-judgmental, and as a result, many went to her for advice. At some point she decided that counseling was what she wanted to do with her life.

At NIU, Ryanne, a 19-year-old sophomore from Carpentersville, was an honors student studying psychology with the intention of attaining a doctorate-level degree and working in the field of counseling. She had already served an internship in high school at a counseling center. As a student, she studied French, had played violin in the symphony orchestra at Dundee-Crown High School and was an avid reader, sometimes juggling four or five books at a time. But she was also a typical college student who would sleep past noon, was willing to stand in line at midnight for the next Harry Potter offering and collected things of all sorts.

Ryanne was known and well liked by faculty members at NIU who described her as a young woman who was intellectually engaged, highly motivated, outgoing and friendly. Ryanne was interested in studying mental illness. She was always friendly and laughing—just a really good kid. Ryanne was one of those students who really wanted to be there.

Ryanne’s family and friends will always remember her as a funny, kind, intelligent and compassionate young woman. It was her goal to dedicate her life to helping others be better than they thought they could be. Despite being taken before her time, Ryanne’s desire to help others will be fulfilled even in her absence. Her family and friends have established this scholarship so that her legacy will live on.

  1. To the fullest extent allowable under then applicable law, the preferred candidate is:
    1. A full time, degree seeking graduate student pursuing a graduate degree in clinical or school psychology within the Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University.
    2. A candidate must demonstrate that it is his/her professional goal to provide psychological services within a mental health or educational setting.
    3. Applicants must submit a personal statement describing past community involvement, professional goals, and ways that the Ryanne Mace Scholarship will assist in attaining these goals.
    4. In addition to a personal statement, applicants must submit official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate programs, curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation that address the candidate’s personal and academic accomplishments, and his or her potential for meeting the mental health needs as a practicing psychologist.
    5. All materials must be submitted to the Graduate Secretary by or before April 13th.
  2. These scholarships shall be awarded without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, marital status, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other factor unrelated to the scholarship criteria.

  1. The selection of recipient(s) will be made under the guidance of the Chair of the Department of Psychology, utilizing the department’s executive committee who will evaluate student applications and nominate one student each year to receive the scholarship.
  2. One scholarship may be granted in a single year.
  3. Preference may be given to applicants who embody the spirit and strength of character exhibited by Ryanne during her life.
  4. The scholarship awarded shall be for one academic year, however prior recipients are eligible to apply for additional awards in subsequent years.
  5. In the event a recipient withdraws from the University, or is no longer enrolled as a graduate student within the Department of Psychology, prior to receiving the scholarship funds, the funds allocated for the scholarship may be granted to another qualified student.