What is a scholar?
The following attributes distinguish strong and promising scholars from ordinary academics:
1. Definition – a strong scholar has a sharp focus that delimits the area of inquiry in which s/he works. He works to develop a complex, depth and sophisticated understanding of any of the topics of study
2. Disposition – a strong scholar is marked by what could be called academic poise. Such a person is naturally inquisitive about the world around him/her
3. Immersion – a strong scholar ‘swims’ in the learning around her/him. S/he is familiar and knowledgeable in the area of inquiry. A scholar is also conscious of how her learning builds on and departs from established wisdom on the topic of interest
4. Authority – a strong scholar is articulate about his/her learning and can speak
with authority and clarity about what it is s/he researches, why and with what hypotheses
5. Persistence – a strong scholar shows a persistent determination to ‘get to the bottom of things’ to learn as much as possible! S/he seeks deep explanations for events
6. Passion – a strong scholar is passionate, and seen to be passionate, about what s/he studies. The topic or focus of investigation excites and enthuses the young scholar and explains his/her persistence in solving complex problems or concerns
7. Connection – a strong scholar is well-networked with other young scholars!
8. Recognition – a strong scholar is easily recognized among his/her peers as a bright up-and-coming learner!
9. Productivity – a strong scholar is highly productive, always striving to perform his/her best
10. Competitiveness – a strong scholar constantly seeks opportunities in which to compete for awards and competitive events that both recognize and support outstanding work.