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Students Receive All University Scholarship

Posted by Pengxeu Thao '15, Roseville on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013

University of Minnesota, Morris students Tabitha Morris ’14, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Mai Pa Tao Vang ’14, Walnut Grove, were recently awarded the Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló Scholarship. Morris and Vang were two of only eight students students selected for this all-University award. The scholarship not only recognized their roles as strong female students, but also encouraged their pursuits into higher education.

The Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló Scholarship is one of six women’s faculty and student awards by the University of Minnesota Women’s Center. The scholarship strives to break the barriers between women and higher education. It focuses on supporting women of color, immigrant students, students from disadvantaged families, first-generation college students, and mothers. Its recognition of diverse backgrounds and circumstances cultivated inclusive values that resonated with Morris and Vang.

“These kinds of scholarships have only recently been receiving focus,” says Vang. “It’s a big stepping stone in acknowledging and empowering female colored students.”

Mai Pa Tao Vang ’14, Walnut Grove

More importantly, the scholarship opened Morris and Vang to more learning opportunities and helped set more educational goals for the future. With the support from the University of Minnesota Women’s Center, the scholarship encouraged and enthused them to continue their education past their undergraduate experiences.

“In applying, I was able to put in words for the first time the connections between different aspects of my experience—specifically the ways in which dealing with challenging life circumstances has prepared me in in very concrete and practical ways for success in my future work as a biologist,” says Morris. “Receiving this award in the sixth and last year of my undergraduate education has been a powerfully validating and encouraging experience.”

Tabitha Morris ’14, Silver Spring, Maryland

All recipients of the Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló Scholarship, along with recipients of the University Women’s Center’s other awards, were recognized at the annual Celebrating Women’s Awards Program in late September 27. More information on these awards, including application criteria and deadlines, is available online.