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Richard Neal, a member of East Central University's chapter of Alpha Chi national college honor society, has been awarded a $1,000 Edwin W. Gaston Jr. Scholarship for Alpha Chi's Region II.

Neal presented his winning paper, "Nixon and the Foreign Policy Paradigm: The New World Order," at the Region II Alpha Chi Convention last April in Seguin, Texas.

Picture of Richard NealHe graduated from ECU in December and is pursuing a master's degree in human resources administration at ECU.

"I am deeply honored and humbled at receiving the Gaston Scholarship from Alpha Chi," he said. "Although I worked diligently at scholarship throughout my college career, never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would receive such a prestigious award. I want to thank all of my professors and mentors for guiding me along my academic path to success."

Born in Charleston, W.Va., Neal came to ECU by way of Irving, Texas, where he worked in the circuit board industry for nearly 20 years. After his industry was downsized in 2001, he decided to re-equip himself for a career in public service. At ECU he majored in political science and minored in history. He hopes to serve his community and state through a career in politics.

"Region II awards two scholarships annually so this is indeed a prestigious scholarship," said Dr. Trisha Yarbrough, ECU professor of English and languages who has served Alpha Chi as a secretary/treasurer of Region II and as a member of the National Council. "The award recognizes only the most outstanding academic work. The Gaston award was named for a long-time Alpha Chi sponsor, scholar and officer in the region and he would be pleased to have seen the caliber of Richard's work."

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