UAFS Alumni Legacy Scholarship Students Thrive
This semester, six area students attending UAFS will receive $1,000 in financial aid from the Alumni Legacy Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. This is the most scholarships granted from the fund in one year.
“We are proud to be able to help these students because we understand how important a college education can be,” said newly appointed Alumni Director Jasmine Smith. “As a UAFS graduate, I have a special insight into what a UAFS education means.”
The Alumni Legacy Scholarship Endowment was established in 2015 to encourage the children or other immediate family members of alumni of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith to attend the university.
This year’s scholarship students are Hannah Green, Katelyn Sosebee, Jillian Cochran, Raquel Spencer, Mary Roberts, and Hannah Michiala Deaver. Green, Cochran, Roberts, and Deaver received the scholarship last year as well.
The Alumni Association’s annual fundraiser for the scholarship endowment is the Roarin’ on the River Low Country Shrimp Boil. The June event traditionally offers delicious low-country food and all the entertainment guests can experience, but the last two years have been hard on traditions. The 2020 Shrimp Boil was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 feast was a drive-thru event.
“We were glad to see all our friends as they came by to pick up their dinners,” Smith said. “But I sure hope we can have this event in person in the summer of 2022.”
Here are the scholarship awardees.
Hannah Green, who graduated from Magazine High School as valedictorian, is a sophomore in the Bachelor of Nursing program. Her father, Lyndol Green, is a member of the Class of ’81 from Westark Community College. Her mother, Alisa Green, was an Alumni Scholarship recipient in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 and is now a fourth-grade teacher. “This scholarship is special because of the people it represents – people like my family who have worked hard to better themselves by graduating as a UAFS Lion,” Hannah said. “I am grateful for what I already have been given and will be glad to continue to represent the UAFS Alumni Association.”
Katelyn Sosebee, a graduate of Greenwood High School, is a junior Media Communication major whose heart lies in the theater. Sosebee began her college career as a theater major, but the pandemic helped her decide to increase her employment options with a Media Comm degree. Her mother and brother are both alumni and, she said, her biggest supporters even though switching majors required her to pick up extra course hours. That’s why the financial support of the Alumni Legacy Scholarship matters. “Help from generous donors and the university means I don’t have to have a full-time job to pay for tuition, and that means I can continue to be a stage manager.”
Jillian Cochran, who graduated from Poteau Senior High School, is a sophomore Biology major. She is following both her parents and her sister in attending UAFS. She works as a pharmacy tech while attending school full-time and hopes to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine and return to her community to practice rural medicine. “My goal is to come back to this area and help residents build happier and healthier lives,” Cochran said.
Raquel Spencer, a graduate of Southside High School, is a sophomore Chemistry major. She, too, hopes to become a doctor. When Spencer was in high school, she volunteered at the Mercy Health summer program, and she has taken part in extra-curricular activities and research. Working in the Mercy summer program gave her insight into her future, as did some medical procedures she recently underwent. “With this experience, I understood the importance of the assistance medical professionals give to patients,” Spencer said.
Mary Roberts is a senior Business Administration major and Northside High School graduate. Roberts said she grew up watching her father take many steps to provide for his family, including completing his Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Technology from Westark College. She sees her own college experience in the same light as she works to complete her degree while working and raising a family. Her time at UAFS has given her not just “a new skill set but also with a fresh outlook.” Although she has not decided if she wants to attend graduate school or if she should keep on her current career path or change industries, she is sure of one thing: “I know that my experience at UAFS will help me with any direction I decide to go.”
Hannah Michiala Deaver is a senior in the Bachelor of Nursing Science program. She was homeschooled and is the sixth of her siblings to graduate from UAFS, and she has a little brother close behind. She and her siblings have studied Biology, Automotive Technologies and Electrical Engineering, Math Education, Nursing, Legal Studies, and Radiography. Receiving the scholarship means she can quit her job and work full-time studying for her nursing boards and finishing her last year in nursing strong.