Six current Dixie State University students, along with seven future DSU students, were awarded academic scholarships made possible by the St. George Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The scholarship awards were handed out at a special AAUW luncheon held Monday at the St. George Courtyard Marriott.
The 13 scholarship recipients were chosen through an evaluation process, which included an interview and essay component, along with a review of each student’s grade point average and attendance (for high school students). Through several branch fundraising events, individual donations and corporate sponsorships, the St. George AAUW branch raised $16,000 this year to fund the scholarships.
All six DSU students who received scholarship awards are part of Dixie State’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC), including Kimberly Bowler (Gunlock, Utah); Kayley Hopster (St. George); Karina Loeza (St. George); Hiqmat Onifade (St. George); Sara Pendleton (Ivin, Utah); and Jessica Russell (Oak Hills, Calif.). Founded in 2013, the DSU Women’s Resource Center is dedicated to serving all female college students by facilitating access to resources, mentoring and support across all disciplines.
“I believe AAUW’s mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research perfectly supports our academic and professional development focus with Women’s Resource Center,” said DSU Associate English Professor and WRC Director Dr. Florence Bacabac. “These AAUW scholarships contribute to our goal of increasing female student retention and graduation rates at Dixie State.”
Dr. Bacabac lauded the AAUW’s mentoring program for scholarship recipients, which provides guidance to the students during their remaining college years and on through selecting a career path. Bacabac added that the Dixie’s WRC program has been promoting the success of “female faculty/staff-to-student” mentoring, saying that the addition of a “women in the professions” piece to the equation would be valuable for the WRC’s mentoring project.
“I think it’s fantastic that AAUW plans to pursue mentoring for our scholarship winners,” Dr. Bacabac said.
Seven other students were awarded scholarships to attend Dixie State in the future. Those students include Samantha Mathis (Leeds, Utah) and Jay’Lee Stratton (St. George), who attended the 2010 eSMART (exploring Science, Math and Related Technologies) summer camp for girls, which was sponsored by DSU and AAUW. In addition, Millcreek High School graduate Norma Venegas (St. George); Kaitlynn Hanberg (Vernal, Utah); Suzette Rawlings (Washington, Utah); Monica Miner (Washington, Utah); and Lauralyn VanWagoner (St. George) each received scholarship awards.
For more information about Dixie State’s Women’s Resource Center, please visit wrc.dixie.edu.