After being a recipient of the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) annual scholarship, Ferris biology professor Olukemi Fadayomi has made it her mission to give back.
“When I was in college, I got a scholarship from them to help with part of my education and I remember that this was very helpful, as an international student,” Fadayomi said. “So, that money was very, very helpful and I always thought, ‘If I even have the opportunity, I would want to give back to the group.’”
The scholarship totals in $1,000 and one to three will be awarded this year. Applicants must be full- time junior or senior students at Ferris, have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, demonstrate financial need and attend the scholarship dinner if chosen. Fadayomi said the scholarship is part of their mission to “advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.”
“So the education part, it’s really about access. If you cannot fund the education, you don’t have the access to fund, then you’re not able to fulfill that. This scholarship is mostly for non-traditional students,” Fadayomi said. “And $1,000 does go a long way to help towards that equity and access to education. So, I think it’s very important.”
Ferris pre-dental sophomore Aliyah Sharisaid she believes the scholarship is a good way to empower women, especially non-traditional students.
“I mean, I think it’s a good idea. They are trying to show women are powerful and wanting to have women step up in a way. So I think it’s a good idea to have the scholarship,” Sharisaid. “I work at a dental office and lots of the ladies I work with, they are going back to school and they have kids. They want to support their families and they want better income so they’re going back to school to get a higher degree to get better income.”
Fadayomi said along with the impact the scholarship had on her, she has seen the impact at Ferris, and applicants from previous years have told her they would not have been able to nish their last semester without the scholarship.
“It had a great impact on me,” Fadayomi said. “It was very helpful for me that I didn’t have to work a lot, so I was able to improve my grades, and that allowed me to be eligible for all the scholarships that saw me through graduate school.”
Those who want to apply for the scholarship must email Dr. Olukemi Fadayomi with a letter of interest describing how they meet the criteria and two letters of reference from Ferris faculty by Tuesday, Nov. 13.