2021 Scholarship Recipients
The University Women’s Club is proud to award scholarships to returning CU students for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Many many thanks to the scholarship committee: Lauren Charbonneau, Jean Fetterman, Sydney Hoerler, Boyce Sher, and Marge Riddle (Chair).
UWC scholarships are supported by the generous donations of UWC members and friends! Donations are always welcome!
Student recipients have each made a short thank you/interview video.
Interview – Michael Bortnowski and Marge Riddle
Michael, the son of first generation Polish-American immigrants, is a Business Analytics major who hopes to become a management consultant and help large organizations and companies incorporate sustainability and social responsibility into their core business strategy. As he was growing up, family financial stresses resulted in him having to forge his own path and find his own way from a quite young age. After a short stint at the Colorado School of Mines and deciding engineering was not his calling, he says he spent the next four years continuing to learn and grow and push himself out of his comfort zone. He finds his current program suits him well and he has been inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society. He also received the CU Student Integrity Award in April 2020 for his work in reducing recruitment bias as the VP of Operations for the Leeds Consulting Group. Additionally, he participates in the Leeds Peer2Peer Mentorship Program and has been Chair of the Carbon Neutrality committee.
Interview – Matt Davis and Lauren Charbonneau
“I will continue to learn from mistakes and to build the best version of myself”. This was what Matthew Davis said in one of his essays. It was at North Carolina State that he learned the importance of failure. “Failure is always an option “, Matthew Davis said as he was drowning in the demands of a 4 year engineering degree.
Matthew lacked discipline. When Matthew was a young boy his mother couldn’t hold a job and was in and out of relationships. Matthew had no family security, let alone a mentor.
Someone suggested community college and he got his associates degree. Then, as a student at North Carolina State he was failing classes, his mother was struggling with cancer and he chose the party lifestyle . Matthew was depressed and left college .
It was soon after his college experience that Matthew joined the military where he realized that his failure had a positive lesson. The Air Force gave him the discipline he needed to succeed and he learned what it took to stay focused , surround himself with positive people and to seek help when needed. Most importantly, Matthew learned that failure is always an option that leads to growth.
Matthew is now in the Aerospace Engineering program with a gpa of 3.9. His goal is to work in the United States Space Force Aerospace Industry. Matthew plans to use his studies and military service experience to position himself in a career that fosters space exploration.
Interview – Shantiel Emory and Marge Riddle
Shantiel, who is majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology at CU, grew up in a single-parent home and started working part-time to help with bills when she was 14. Determined to get an education, she has worked full and part-time to support herself and pay her living and college expenses. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. In Neuroscience, saying that she wants to study the neurobiological basis of trauma and hopes to use that understanding in conjunction with Clinical Psychology to address social injustice and inequality. In spite of her very busy schedule, she has still found time to be involved in volunteer work, including helping to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. She explains that she “knows what it is like to have to go without…” and that “the kindness of the community was so important to (her) as a kid, she can’t think of a better way to spend some extra time than making others’ lives a bit better.”
Daniel Fischer was raised in Fresno, California by a single mom. His mother worked 3 jobs while trying to go to Community college but could not maintain school while raising 3 children and make ends meet. When Daniel was 15, his brother was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age 8, which took all his mother’s time and effort. Daniel became the caregiver for his sister who was 4 at the time.. He took on this responsibility while holding a 4.0 GPA, on varsity football all 4 years and 2 seasons of track & field. At 16, he added a part-time job to help his mother financially. After high school, he attended San Francisco State University fulfilling his GE requirements while working full time. But he could not afford to continue and help his family. He had to drop out of college in 2012 and worked until he decided to finish what he started, and, at the age of 30, has been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in construction.
Interview – Zoé Kouremenos and Marge Riddle
Zoe, a first generation American and first in her family to attend college, has been supporting herself and her education since the age of 17. When she was younger, her father regularly took her to work with him and she saw his strong work ethic. Her story exemplifies how she in turn developed an amazingly strong work ethic in her own life. It took her 6 years to earn her first 2-year degree, working as a nanny during some of this time, getting to work at 4 a.m. and doing assignments during naptime and in the evenings. But dedicated to her goal of pursuing further education and eventually becoming a medical doctor, with a true entrepreneurial spirit, she founded her own organic cleaning company, and says she has been “cleaning houses while listening to my lectures for many years now,” while working on her Bachelor’s degree. She says she continues to work toward her career goals daily, which include being a pediatrician as well as volunteering to be of service in underprivileged communities.
Interview – Melissa Nichols and Sydney Hoerler
With minimum exposure to Melissa Nichols, one comes away with a maximum impression. She has integrated difficult life lessons, to enhance her natural leadership skills. Her experience serving children from under represented, low-income families in the Jumpstart Americorps Program, coupled with her passionate character, allows her to empathize with all children. Melissa likewise participates in an online counseling service that helps to support individuals in crisis situations. Proving herself time and again, she has received multiple scholarships in her education field. In her future as an elementary school guidance counselor, she creatively aims to engage students by encouraging their natural curiosity while supporting their individual identities. She eagerly shares her passion for academics while molding opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive.