This year, the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior awarded $26,000 in scholarships to over 70 students, marking a drastic increase from the previous year.
Divah Griffin, director of development in the SEHHB, said the previous year’s amount for scholarships totaled to a little over $12,000, meaning this year saw more than double the amount than last year.
“This year, we wanted to increase the amount we were giving due to increased need among our students. COVID-19 has really thrown everyone for a loop and we knew a lot more of our students needed the financial help,” Griffin said.
Griffin also said the SEHHB has many essential workers in its departments that have been working in places affected by the pandemic.
Griffin said this year did not see an increase in the amount of scholarships, but that each department tried to award more aid from department budgets in addition to what is given by donors.
“Our department chairs got together and decided to give even more out of their departmental budget to designate to give to students,” Griffin said.
Griffin said the SEHHB is still determining the best way to go about improving how much they give in the coming years, but that she is working hard to increase donors.
Robin Hughes, dean of the SEHHB, said she would like to keep increasing the amount for scholarships over time to a larger amount if possible.
“If I had my druthers, I would like to give $30,000 to $40,000. I believe that we can push to give that much,” Hughes said.
Hughes said her reasoning for trying to keep giving is out of her desire to help students as well as how committed the donors are to students.
“I remember banging the couches trying to find a quarter — I just don’t think in this day and age that students should have to do that,” Hughes said. “I want to make sure students receive every dime — every red cent — that they’re supposed to receive, because that’s what the donors want.”
Hughes said a lot of the progress that has been made can also be attributed to the hard work Griffin has put in as the director of development. Hughes also said she appreciates how hard the chairs of each department pushed.
“We had a discussion during the [department chair] meeting and talked about, ‘Let’s give as much as we possibly can this year — folks need it every year, but let’s pull out all the stops and up the ante,’” Hughes said.
Senior elementary education major Amanda Dermody of Swansea, Illinois, said she was a recipient of the $500 Kendall Allida Douglas Memorial Scholarship. Dermody also said this scholarship helps her get to her goal and she is driven even more by her love for teaching.
“I always enjoyed helping kids and helping them learn. I always found that education was a way to make an impact on children’s lives,” Dermody said.
Dermody said the scholarship also has a special meaning to her due to knowing the person the scholarship is named after.
“I knew her and played softball with [Douglas] on the St. Louis Illusions softball team, so it was extra important to me,” Dermody said.
Hughes said the SEHHB will continue to push for students to be able to succeed and afford going to school, and the donors will too.
For more information about the types of scholarships available, visit the SIUE AcademicWorks website.