Community College President's Scholarship recipients

UMSL recently celebrated 29 recipients of the Community College President’s Scholarship. Among the honorees on hand for the March 15 event were (from left) Stephanie Kuhn, Justin Jones, Kenna Mangan, Daniel Blash, Heidi Wallner, Lynnette Thiel, Casey Richards, Mary Loggia, Naomi Russell, Faith Joyce, Tara Gallagher and Makayla Hann. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Occupational therapy. Criminal justice reform. Child psychology. It’s crucial fields and ambitions like these that a group of University of Missouri–St. Louis transfer students are focusing their energy on since receiving sought-after scholarships to attend the university.

“I’m not sure words could even describe what this scholarship means to me,” says psychology major Tara Gallagher, who began her college career at Jefferson College and just started her studies at UMSL a few months ago. “Receiving this award was a great honor, and I cannot thank UMSL enough for providing me with the resources to obtain such a remarkable education.”

Gallagher is one of 29 current UMSL students who are recipients of the Community College President’s Scholarship, which covers up to 60 credit hours at UMSL. The students were formally honored for their hard work and accomplishments at a reception for them and their families and friends in the Millennium Student Center on March 15.

“It’s important to recognize these students who have worked so hard to excel at their community colleges,” says Krystal Lang, assistant director of admissions for transfer recruitment. “Not only have they shown academic excellence, but they were personally chosen by the president of their respective community college to receive this scholarship.”

Lang adds that along with recognizing the students for their academic performance, community service and career goals, it’s a chance to show appreciation to the region’s community colleges and all that their students bring to UMSL.

For Heidi Wallner, who is majoring in criminology and criminal justice and recently transferred from St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley, receiving the scholarship is like a big weight being lifted.

“It takes out that stress and allows me to freely learn,” says Wallner, who is hoping to finish college debt-free. “And the criminal justice department here is amazing. I’ve learned so much … I love UMSL.”

The award is offered to one student from each of the surrounding community colleges every fall and spring semester: East Central Community College, Jefferson College, Lewis & Clark Community College, Mineral Area Community College, St. Charles Community College and St. Louis Community College (Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec, and Wildwood campuses).

Makayla Hann was the St. Charles Community College recipient this spring, and she says she feels like her time at UMSL is already off to a great start. In addition to majoring in criminology and criminal justice, she’s pursuing minors in Spanish and psychology.

“From there I hope to work in a juvenile justice center to help kids in various types of situations get back on track,” Hann says, “because everyone deserves a chance at a successful life, and these kids just need someone to believe in them.”

For each of the recipients that UMSL Daily spoke with, the Community College President’s Scholarship has been an important personal confirmation.

“This scholarship was a representation and prime example to myself that hard work does pay off,” Hann says, “and that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

One of the most prestigious scholarships awarded to transfer students, it has benefited a total of 51 UMSL students since 2013. For more information, click here.

The UMSL Experience

Evie Hemphill

Evie Hemphill