Honors Student Receives Dr. Elizabeth Howard Memorial Honors Scholarship

Award Recipient and Late Colloquium Instructor Share a Love of Textiles and the Arts
Photo of Dr Elizabeth Howard Scholarship recipient and Honors College student Gabrielle Volz

Gabrielle (Gabby) Volz is a second year Kent State University Honors College student from Mansfield, Ohio, and a graduate of Lexington High School. She is the second recipient of the Dr. Elizabeth Howard scholarship, the recently established fund for Honors College students in memory of Elizabeth Howard, Ph.D., who was a prominent member of the Honors College community, as well as the Department of English.

The recipient of the $1,000 scholarship is chosen to reflect the academic and creative interests of Professor Howard. Gabrielle is the perfect candidate this year to reflect Howard’s interests, as she works towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in textiles, as well as minors in both art history and marketing. She also serves as the president of the Textiles Club on the Kent State campus, and enjoys crocheting, knitting, weaving, and spending time outdoors. She loves to read and takes every opportunity she can to travel.

Gabrielle explained that receiving the Dr. Elizabeth Howard Memorial Honors Scholarship meant so much more to her than financial funding for a student in need. “I did not have the opportunity to meet Dr. Howard, but I have been informed of her extraordinary life by others close to her,” Gabrielle stated. “This scholarship draws attention to the often overlooked, those pursuing degrees in both the English and fine arts communities, predominantly textiles.” The studio art major further elaborated that, “This scholarship gives students the opportunity to pursue their dreams with financial and academic support in fields that are commonly unrecognized, breathing life back into artists’ minds.

Gabbrielle’s interest in textiles started years earlier, during her freshman year of high school, when her French teacher started a “crochet-along” club. Gabrielle and her best friend decided to join the club and the Honors College student developed a deep love for the craft, introducing her to the world of other textiles. Throughout high school, Gabrielle never gave up crocheting, stating, “It was, and still is the one thing I can turn to when I need re-centered, it’s when I feel the most like myself.”

The 2023 scholarship recipient followed in her older sister’s footsteps after high school graduation, joining the Honors College at Kent State, where her sibling was a recent graduate of the college. Gabrielle noted that aside from the financial aid she has received as a member of the Honors College, she has also gained access to valuable resources she otherwise might not have received. “The college provides a safe space for like-minded students to learn and grow alongside each other within all different kinds of majors. I have met so many people within the community I am glad to have known, and I am excited for the opportunities it will continue to provide.”

Gabrielle described her fine arts program at Kent State as focusing primarily on weaving with the opportunity to explore other variants of textiles such as felt making, dyeing and more. It was her first course entitled ‘Pattern’ in the spring of 2023 where Gabrielle knew she had made the right choice for her major. “There has always been something about being involved in an art form that is so ancient that makes me feel a deep connection to humanity, it is very grounding.”

Honors College Dean Alison J. Smith, Ph.D., selects the recipient of the Elizabeth Howard Honors Scholarship. “It is always a pleasure and a challenge to select scholarship winners from our honors students, because there are so many wonderful students to choose among. In this case, Gabrielle’s creative accomplishments in textile arts (Elizabeth Howard was dedicated to the weaving arts, as well as being a scholar of English literature), distinguished her for this award this year." 

Howard was a Professor of English for more than 20 years at Kent State. She was also a well-respected member of the Honors College community, having taught Freshman Honors Colloquium (FHC) courses, served on the Honors College Policy Council, advised many honors thesis writers, and won the 2016 Distinguished Honors Faculty Award.

With assistance from the scholarship, Gabrielle plans to finish her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2025. Following that, she has interests in learning more about textile restoration, as Gabrielle has an appreciation for art history and the importance of its mark and place in time. She notes that her minor in marketing may also allow her the opportunity to create and sell her own work.

Textile work done by honors student Gabrielle Volz

The scholarship dedicated in memory of Professor Howard is endowed by family, friends, alumni, fellow Honors College and Department of English staff, and those who want to contribute to her memory. If you would like to join us in supporting Honors College students in Professor Howard’s memory, please visit the Dr. Elizabeth Howard Memorial Honors Scholarship giving page

Please contact the Honors College at honors@kent.edu with any questions.









PHOTO CAPTION 1: A photo of Gabrielle Volz’s work in textiles.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Honors scholarship recipient Gabrielle Volz poses for a photo, showing off her tattoo on her upper arm, a symbol for Hestia, a goddess from Greek mythology. Gabrielle got that tattoo when she came to Kent State and was away from home, as the symbol signifies home and the hearth.

PHOTO CAPTION 3: A completed textile showcases Gabrielle’s love for the art.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

POSTED: Thursday, October 19, 2023 02:36 PM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2023 10:50 AM
Stephanie L. Moskal, Honors College, Associate Director of Strategic Communications and External Affairs