Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Otilia Santiago

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Otilia Santiago

Otilia Santiago is a sophomore from Chicago studying Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Science. She is a Harold and Nora Kuehn Animal Science Scholarship, SIU Dean’s Scholarship, and Kloth Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU has a pre-veterinary program and a wonderful campus.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I love the idea of being able to work with animals, while also expanding my knowledge about them.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
When i first walked on campus and went through Thompson’s Woods. I saw two falcons. I had never seen these type of birds in the wild before and they we perched on a branch very close to the path on the tour.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I brag that SIU is a beautiful university, with a great College of Agricultural Sciences and a wonderful campus.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
It made paying for college a lot easier. I am to focus in class instead of thinking about money.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Donating to SIU helps students achieve their goals when they otherwise may not be able to.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see $1,000 benefit to the university farms, so more students could get hands-on experience working with animals.

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Impact of scholarships featured at annual luncheon

In February, a group of donors and students gathered for the 2018 SIU Academic Scholarship Lunch. Dozens of scholarship recipients were given the chance to meet and thank the very people who made their scholarships possible.

“It’s amazing to see people who were able to be successful come back and give to people and help them be successful, as well,” said scholarship recipient Jacob Trammel. “I can’t express how thankful I am.”

Dr. Marsha Ryan, a member of the SIU Board of Trustees and scholarship sponsor, addressed the crowd during the annual event.

“What truly matters in our communities and at this university are the people we make of ourselves and the people we assist in the making of themselves,” she said. “The nice thing about SIU is that it’s a wonderful place to do both.”

Scholarship recipients Abbie Spiwak and Saikrishna Balasubramanian spoke about the significance of financial assistance and how they hope to make a long-term impact.
“The thing I’ve had in my mind since starting school and wanting to be a dietitian is to help other people,” Spiwak said.

“What this scholarship has enabled me to do is really achieve my dreams, and I hope to give back to other students someday,” Balasubramanian said.

Forever SIU campaign co-chair Dan Korte said students need support because they are the future.

“These young people are going to change the world and help propel the future that we depend on,” he said.

To make a gift, visit www.siuf.org/giving.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Corey Albrecht

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Corey Albrecht

Corey Albrecht is a senior from Algonquin, Illinois, studying civil engineering. He is a recipient of the SIU Dean’s Scholarship, SIU College of Engineering Scholarship and Waldemar J. Klasing Foundation Scholarship.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because of the quality of the College of Engineering, the beautiful campus and region, the low cost of tuition, the scholarship opportunities, the proximity and ease of transportation to the Chicago suburbs and the dedication that students appeared to have on campus visits.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I had always been good at math and science classes in high school, and I always had an interest in the structure of buildings and bridges.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience at SIU was probably the scholarship luncheon this year. It was inspiring to see so many generous donors, hardworking students, SIU faculty and administration coming together to celebrate the successes of the university. It was basically all of the great components of SIU coming together to meet each other for a great meal and presentation. I really enjoyed the interaction with donors.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I mostly brag about how beautiful the campus and region is, the weather here compared to northern Illinois, the outstanding professors in our civil engineering program and our sports teams when they are doing well.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Scholarships have relieved a significant amount of financial stress from my life. This has allowed me to focus more on my courses and RSOs, and it has motivated me to perform better in my courses. It has also impacted my family and relieved financial stress from them, which is very important to me.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Donors, in my opinion, are probably the most important contributors to the health and strength of SIU. Scholarships assist in growing enrollment, give opportunities to students who would not be able to afford college and are role models for SIU students. Seeing individuals and couples who graduated from SIU and became successful motivates me and other students that one day we can accomplish the same level of success. Donors are role models to students and allows students to accomplish more with their help. This results in better students graduating from SIU and a higher quality alumni base.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see that money benefit the RSOs in engineering. From working with and being a part of Steel Bridge Team and ASCE, and seeing students in Baja and Robotics, Engineering RSOs consist of some of the brightest, most dedicated and hard-working students at this university. Engineering RSOs are essential for students obtaining hands-on experience in their field.

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Scholarship, atmosphere enhance student’s Saluki experience

SIU Scholarship Recipient Nyah Addison

It didn’t take long for Nyah Addison to feel a deep connection to SIU.

“The main reason I came to SIU was the community,” she said. “My mom’s best friend went to SIU. The alumni are wonderful. It’s a family-type of feeling.”

A business student from Chicago, Nyah received the University Excellence Scholarship. It is available to academically high-achieving high school students who have demonstrated leadership skills.

The financial assistance played an integral role in her decision to attend SIU and decreased the stress that comes with making such an important life decision.

“The scholarship was the tip over the edge for me coming here,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t put too much on myself as far as loans are concerned. Without the scholarship, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Before learning about the scholarship, Nyah considered attending a community college, but she’s thankful for the opportunity to be on a university campus and enjoy all the benefits it provides.

“Community college is OK, but this is a completely different atmosphere here,” she said. “I’m actually able to be on campus, be around the alumni and my peers. The scholarship was a big help to me, and I know it’s a big help for others.”

While scholarships can help attract prospective students to the university, Nyah said it’s the Saluki experience that makes the time here special.

“The community is great,” she said. “Everybody is really helpful, really nice. My overall experience has been great. I really enjoy that community feeling.”

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Esmeralda Valerio

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Esmeralda Valerio

Esmeralda Valerio is a junior from Chicago studying social work. She is a Harvey and Trish Welch Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because it felt like home. I felt I could make some sort of impact on this campus and I am glad I have. I’m making my impact by working with New Student Programs.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
Having to work with other social workers growing up.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
Being part of the New Student Orientation as a team lead.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I brag about how proud I am to be a leader on campus through our New Student Programs office.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
This scholarship helped me have peace of mind to not worry about my current financial struggles. The $1000 I received really did make a huge difference.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Because our students have heart, they are passionate for their institution and what SIU does to impact its students.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would use it to create a scholarship for first generation Latinx students who struggle with physical or mental disabilities.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Abbie Spiwak

Abbie Spiwak (left) is pictured with her scholarship donor, Judith Rossiter (right).

Abbie Spiwak (left) is pictured with her scholarship donor, Judith Rossiter (right).

Abbie Spiwak is a sophomore from Crystal Lake, Illinois, studying human nutrition and dietetics. She is a James M. Rossiter Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because of the kind and caring students and faculty, the campus, the surrounding areas, and much more. Everyone is always involved and wants to do something to help others, or to help the community. Professors are willing to give you their time and effort to help you succeed. SIU helps make well-rounded and highly-educated students.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I have always been interested in health and helping others. This field of study gives me a wide range of opportunities in the health field. Americans are in great need of health and food specialists, and the need is only growing. I like making a difference in others’ lives. Also, I enjoy learning about the foods we eat, our bodies, and the systems food takes to get to us.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
I have had many memorable experiences at SIU. I got to go on a trip with other Chancellor’s students to St. Louis to see a symphony, and visit the Blue’s museum. It was a great learning experience and a time to bond with others.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I love to brag about the Shawnee National Forest and all the amazing nature on and off campus. I love having access to water sports, hikes, bike rides, rock climbing, and more.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Scholarships have helped me to succeed in school without having the stress and worries involved with paying off loans or having to work full-time with studying. I know that this takes a burden off not just me, but my family as well. I have been able to devote my time to my studies, so that I can succeed in my future career. I am able to save money now that can be used towards my future and other expenses.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
People should consider donating their money to SIU because it will always go towards good students who will benefit greatly, and whose lives will be changed for the better because of the money donated. You would be helping students to achieve their dreams and receive the best education they can. You can change someone’s future by donating to SIU.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like my money to help a student at SIU studying nutrition and dietetics who is doing well in his or her classes and who would greatly benefit from the extra money, whether it be paying for tuition or other school related expenses. I would want it to go to a student studying in the health field, specifically nutrition/dietetics. $1,000 would help a student in many ways. I want to know it is going to someone who will use the money to help them succeed in school and in their career.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Simon Villegas

2018 Academic Scholarship Donor Luncheon

Simon Villegas is pictured with his scholarship donor, Debra Sarvela (left), and her daughter, Kristin Sarvela (right).

Simon Villegas is a sophomore from Morton Grove, Illinois, studying aviation technologies. He is a University Excellence Scholarship, David Rich Memorial Scholarship, and Jeremiah Eugene Price Aviation Technologies Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because the aviation program is one of the best in the nation. Also, Carbondale is located in an area where there are a lot of activities.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
My interest in planes is what inspired me to study aviation technologies. The whole aviation industry amazes me.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
It was my first day of class when I was arriving on the bus to the airport and seeing the airport for the first time. My most memorable experience was when I saw the planes flying and the facilities and hangar with all the aircraft. I still remember the excitement and how good I felt about studying in this place.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
Since I am in aviation technologies, I brag about all the planes we have, about my classes being hands-on and about the facility and airport we have where I go to class every day.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Being an immigrant who has been in the United states for five years, and the first to go to college here, my family can’t afford to pay for my education. I also have another brother who just started college too, and a sister in high school, so it is a lot of money for my family. Thanks to these scholarships, I am able to stay in school and pay for my tuition and living costs without my parents having to worry about it.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Because there are a lot of talented students who struggle to pay the cost of education, and all these scholarships and money invested on students makes a huge impact on their education, like it did on me.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see a student benefit from it, because I see the difference it made this year on my finances.

About the scholarship:
Mrs. Debra A. Sarvela wanted to establish a fund to provide financial support to students enrolled in the Aviation Technologies Program, in memory of her father, J. Eugene Price. Mr. Price established a career as an electrical engineer, specializing in flight simulation. His career began when Mr. Price was serving in the U.S. Army and continued for 40 years until his retirement from Hughes Aircraft.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Chelesea Lewellen

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Chelsea Lewellen

Chelesea Lewellen is a Ph.D. student from Chicago studying education. She is a Marita A. Weaver Scholarship and Wayne S. Ramp Vocational Education Endowed Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU has the benefit of close proximity to major metropolitan areas (Chicago and St. Louis) with a distinctive small-town feel. I appreciate the history SIU has to offer of being both an educational institution with a significant diverse student body alongside a feel-good approach to school-life balance. As a former SIU student, I enjoyed the far-reaching spirit of being a Saluki and encountered alumni both locally and nationally during my travels. SIU encourages the potential and challenges you to rethink authority, information, personal beliefs and trends. This institution inspires individual pontificate and creates thinkers. I returned to SIU to further embrace that spirit of education and atmosphere of positive change.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I chose to pursue a degree in education because education is the cornerstone of life. Whether one is seeking personal enhancement or professional development, education is the key component needed to realize one’s goal. Education is not terminal but a journey wherein the student acquires new knowledge, discards long-held assumptions and/or improves upon their knowledge base. Education is not terminal and continues long after a degree is earned or retirement reached. I find it thrilling to participate in such a vibrant area of study and continue my own never-ending path of knowledge and hope to inspire others to continue in an unending pursuit of knowledge.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience at SIU occurred during my return to pursue my current degree. During graduate student orientation, Dr. Lee, then dean of the Graduate School, told us about the awesome responsibility and the exciting future graduate school held for each of us. His passion was not only evident, it was also infectious. I walked away from that orientation with an increased sense of the support that was available to me and eager to start my program of study. Each and every time I encountered Dean Lee, I felt a renewed sense of motivation. His warmth and sincerity is sorely missed.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
Both scholarships are extremely generous and helped to offset the cost of pursuing my degree. As a graduate student, books, supplies and the cost of living is exceptional. The addition of these two scholarships reduced the out-of-pocket financial contribution and allowed me to refocus my finances and time towards other areas. I was able to relax and study without the distraction of an upcoming bursar payment. It helped both with my time and peace of mind; I am immensely grateful.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
People should consider donating to SIU to contribute to the continued efforts to educate our society and help financially challenged students pursue their degrees. Financial burdens prevent far too many from pursuing advanced degrees. Additionally, the confidence boost a recipient feels is tangible. Donations are the gift that keeps on giving, and an investment in another person who otherwise may not be able to pursue a long-held dream of higher education.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
If I had $1,000 to contribute to SIU, I would like to see the money awarded to an underserved and deserving student. Oftentimes, money is the one determining factor that prevents students from seeking advanced degrees. Investing in a student could ease the burden of fiscal concern and enable the distraction of making ends meet to be directed toward self-improvement. Small investments have the benefit of a huge return and the result is often invaluable.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Allison Kellerman

Alli Kellerman, SIU Scholarship recipient studies abroad in Australia

Allison Kellerman is a senior from Nashville, Illinois, studying zoology and chemistry. She is a Chancellor’s Scholarship recipient. Kellerman is currently studying abroad in Australia.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because it is one of three schools in Illinois that offers a degree in zoology, and it is by far the best of those three. I grew up going to the St. Louis Zoo fairly often, which inspired me to become a zoologist and research animals. SIU happens to be one of the main places St. Louis Zoo looks to hire employees from.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
I am so grateful that I chose SIU as this semester I am currently in Melbourne, Australia! I am absolutely loving my time studying abroad. I have seen so many interesting animals and had so many amazing experiences that I couldn’t even imagine growing up in the small town cornfields of Southern Illinois. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I love to brag about SIU’s amazing zoology program. I love the research the professors are doing and I love that I get to be a part of it by studying poison frogs in Dr. Brown’s lab.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
This scholarship has absolutely changed my life. There is no exaggerating when I say that I probably would not be in school without this scholarship. My family has had a pretty tough financial time, particularly right as I was looking for schools. When that letter came in the mail, it was without a doubt the happiest day of my life as of yet. I knew this opportunity would open so many doors such as, an internship last summer with my favorite place on earth, the St Louis Zoo, and this study abroad opportunity that I am currently undertaking in the wonderful country of Australia. I cannot thank you enough for allowing these experiences to be possible for me, but also allowing me to go to college in the first place.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Donating to SIU allows the college to continue changing the lives of students from all over the world. There is such an interesting group of students that attends SIU, and I am so happy to be able to know so many of them. I would probably not be able to get a higher education without the scholarship I received, so I will be eternally grateful to those that donate to SIU.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see the money benefit research at SIU. They are currently cutting so many research opportunities at the school, which is a real shame. Now that so many people are getting a higher education, research is what sets the driven, dedicated, and brilliant students apart from the average. Do we still have opportunities to research? Yes, but the problem is now there is little to no chance of getting an undergraduate assistantship, which allows students to get paid for working at their research position. Because I cannot get paid for research, I have such little time to dedicate to really focusing on a project. Between my studies, the groups and clubs and sports teams I am in, and my job to make money, I have maybe two hours a week to put towards my research which is not nearly enough to develop a quality research topic and follow through with collecting and interpreting the data. This is why more money should be put back into the Undergraduate Research Program so that students like me can continue to do research.

You can support Chancellor’s Scholarships by making a gift online.

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Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Victoria Estes

Scholarship Donor Luncheon: Victoria Estes and Christian Moe.

Victoria Estes, scholarship recipient, pictured with Christian Moe, scholarship donor.

Victoria Estes is a sophomore from Tremont, Illinois, studying theater. She is the recipient of the following scholarships: University Excellence Scholarship, Christian H. Moe Playwriting Scholarship, and Theater Scholarship.

Why did you choose SIU?
The campus is absolutely gorgeous, and the people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. It felt so welcoming!

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I have always had a passion for theater. I love to act, write and sing! Theater is the best avenue for me to explore all of those aspects.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience was definitely the first Dawgs Nite Out when I was a freshman. I went with my newly found friends and we had a blast!

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I’m a sophomore and I’ve already added so many new experiences that will look impressive when I go into the workforce.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
It has allowed me to branch out and try more avenues of theater that I may not have had the finances to try without the scholarships. I’ve had more opportunities to add to my résumé than I ever thought possible!

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
There are many students that are brilliant and have wonderful plans to better the world, but they may not have the finances to receive every possible opportunity to reach those goals.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would donate to a theater student interested in playwriting or dramaturgy because students should feel free to explore career paths that they never thought were possible!

 

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