Opportunity Scholarship Recognizes the Academic Achievements of Ten Students From Diverse Backgrounds

Opportunity Scholarship Recognizes the Academic Achievements of Ten Students From Diverse Backgrounds

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Awarded by the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, the scholarship provides financial support and recognition of academic success to prospective and current graduate students pursuing a master’s degree.

In alignment with the School of Education and Human Development’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the school relaunched it’s Opportunity Scholarship earlier this year. The scholarship serves to support a more diverse student population at Fairfield and provides financial support and recognition of academic success to prospective and current graduate students pursuing a master’s degree.

The scholarship is intended to support students’ progress toward their professional degrees to help ensure the future impact and contribution to their field and to the populations they will serve. In an effort to make the scholarship more accessible eligible students are now permitted to self-nominate and to apply to be considered, in addition to students who may be nominated by a faculty member. 

This past semester ten students received the Opportunity Scholarship. The recipients include: Jason Blake, Alexa Chalas, Lyssete Cordova, Jacquella Forgey-Carpenter, Susana Olivo, Maritza Poindexter-Brown, Yuly Rios, Donna Rogers-Jones, Yolanda Russell, and Brianna Stewart.

“I am so thankful for this scholarship from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee,” said Donna Rogers-Jones who is pursuing a master’s in TESOL. “There are lots of opportunities out there, but it can be overwhelming to find and access them. Receiving this scholarship means that someone believes in me. I am appreciative and will apply this towards my student loans.”

The Opportunity Scholarship is one of several key initiatives led by the School of Education and Human Development’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. The goal of the committee is to take action to create a more inclusive climate in all dimensions of diversity, with a specific focus on examining current policies and practices surrounding curricula, hiring, programming, and tenure. In addition to supporting a diverse student population, hiring of faculty and staff is an important aspect of creating a diverse community for the school. In recent months, the committee consulted with search committees on their practices. One of the EDI’s committee’s strategic goals is to provide evidence-based guidance on hiring policies and practices where diversity is valued and implicit bias is taken into account.

In addition to the EDI committee’s work, nine School of Education and Human Development faculty representing all departments recently came together to consider the effectiveness of programming in preparing graduates to embrace diversity and to advocate for racial justice. The group has reviewed relevant research and reflected on their own understanding of important concepts to take first steps toward developing a survey for alumni that will inform curriculum, program development, and pedagogy.

The School of Education and Human Development invites all students, alumni, faculty, and community partners to engage in dialogue and action around racial justice. To learn more about ways to engage in this important work please contact SEHDcommnunication@fairfield.edu.

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Last modified: 06-04-21 9:39 AM

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