By RoseAnn Foster
Phi Beta Kappa’s University of California, Santa Cruz chapter recently awarded a scholarship to rising sophomore Roxy Kushner. This is the first of three one-time scholarships to be awarded at UC Santa Cruz, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota made possible by an anonymous donation to the national office of Phi Beta Kappa in Washington, D.C. Each scholarship is valued at $12,500.
The requirements of the scholarship dictated that the student have high academic achievements, indicate a broad interest in course subjects, and be a first generation college student. The UC Santa Cruz Office of Financial Aid assisted in providing a list of 223 potential candidates from which the applicant pool was narrowed to eight. The Educational Opportunity Programs Office, which offers personal support to first generation, low income, or educationally disadvantaged students, then assisted in narrowing the pool to three qualified candidates.
The three finalists were asked to submit a one-page description of their time at the university and what the scholarship would mean to them. Kushner indicated it was challenging to condense her experiences and educational goals to one page. Alexander Grillo, a member of the selection committee and president the UCSC chapter of ΦBK, said, “It was evident that not only was she a high achiever but she could do much more if finances were less of an issue. This indicated that the scholarship could have a big impact.”
Kushner was selected not only for her academic achievements but also because the scholarship would make a real difference in her academic pursuits. She is spending the summer in Ireland working at Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary. “This scholarship opens up new pathways in my educational experience,” she said. “Now, when I hear about amazing internship opportunities or field programs, I don’t automatically ignore them. I have more financial ability to explore and learn all that I have always wanted to, but never had the means to do so.”
The scholarship was awarded to Roxy Kushner at an annual campus wide ceremony honoring students in the Educational Opportunity Program. She also made an appearance at the ΦBK induction ceremony. As both these events were so close to the end of the spring term, the campus also intends to make additional announcements and press releases at the beginning of the fall term.
Photo: UC Santa Cruz ΦBK Chapter Presiddent Alex Grillo congratulates scholarship winner Roxy Kushner.
RoseAnn Foster is a senior at the University of Mississippi majoring in English. The University of Mississippi is home to the Beta of Mississippi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.