2016-2017 Scholars

Jacqueline Burke - Jacqueline is a senior, with a double major in political science, and nutrition and dietetics. Her volunteer experience at the Community Food Bank resulted in a passion to bring affordable, fresh produce to low-income families.   At the food bank, she helped develop a food advocacy program and was awarded a paid internship ($1500 total) for the spring semester of 2016. She would like to study food policy, which combines her two majors, to see how policy affects the community and how changes in policy could result in better access to fruits and vegetables for the needy.  For example, changes in food policy could allow farmers to more easily donate food that cannot be sold in markets.  After graduation, she hopes to obtain an internship that emphasizes food policy at California State University, Sacramento.  Her future academic plans may involve law school and a Master in Public Administration.  Jacqueline has no relationship with her father, and her mother gives what she can, but this leaves student loans as a required source of income.  Jacqueline’s passion to tackle food policy issues could be a boon to many who live in the Central Valley.

Jennifer Cushing  - Jennifer hails from New Jersey.  Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed her town and made her house uninhabitable, was the life altering experience that brought her to choose nursing as a career, which she states was a choice of the heart rather than of the mind. In the wake of disaster, she found that she could make a difference by helping people in great need.  The bonding that occurred among neighbors she barely knew before the storm illustrated the importance of teamwork and resilience.  After graduating from high school, she left New Jersey to attend Fresno State. Since her first semester at college, she has been president of the newly formed pre-nursing club.  The officers decided that the mission of the club was to create a nurturing environment rather than a competitive one for pre-nursing students. Moving so far from family has brought the challenge of complete independence.  Jennifer worked full-time her first year, but not in subsequent years due to academic demands required for admittance into the nursing program.  Working 20 hours a week as a lab assistant in the Fresno State chemistry department does not bring sufficient funds to meet expenses. Jennifer aspires to be a trauma nurse at first, and perhaps an oncology nurse at a later time. Jennifer has come a long way in a few short years toward achieving her goal.

Alice GuhlAlice is a senior in the nursing program and the single mother of three daughters, ages 7, 10 and 13.  After her divorce, realizing that she had to have an income, she completed her general education courses at the College of the Sequoias, graduating with honors.   Acceptance into the nursing program at Fresno state washer goal and she has now completed four of the six semesters of the nursing program. The operating room is of special interest to her and possibly oncology.  A side interest arose from having had problems nursing her own children, so she pursued training as a lactation specialist and, with her nursing degree, will find a supportive role in the breastfeeding community. Future goals include a Master of Science in Nursing which could lead to either a nurse practitioner career or a career as a nurse anesthetist. She has a part-time job as a care provider for a private patient.  This job brings in a little money that has allowed her to get off of food stamps, but finances are a struggle.  At this time, her priorities are giving time to her daughters and to her academics, leaving no time for another job.

Sherrianna ScottSherianna is simultaneously pursuing her credential in education and her MA in Education, with an option in Curriculum and Instruction. She attributes her academic successes to her curiosity, dedication and enthusiasm for elementary school teaching, her passion ever since she first set foot into a classroom as a child.  She was valedictorian at her high school, obtained an AA degree at age 18 and a Bachelor in Liberal Studies at age 20, all with a GPA of 4.0.  These are surprising achievements since her family moved six times, resulting in her attending three different elementary schools, four different high schools and two community colleges.  Her dedication to teaching is evidenced by many hours of volunteering in the classroom, tutoring and attending workshops and conferences.  At age 18, Sherianna decided to live independently from her family, although she currently has her teen-aged brother, his teen-aged wife and their infant living with her.  Her parents, with a household of seven, cannot help financially. A part-time position as a fourth grade afterschool teacher has helped a bit financially and as a graduate student, she is no longer eligible for financial aid.   In the future, she envisions getting a PhD in Educational Leadership at Fresno State.  To summarize her philosophy about her profession in her own words: “I hope to do as much as I can to contribute to and improve upon our indispensable school system, in an endless effort to provide students with the quality of education that we, as a society, need and that they - as invaluable, unique and capable individuals – will always deserve.”