2017 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
David Shiman Scholarship
Hello! My name is Noelle Pilger and I am a senior at the University of Vermont. I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree in middle level education with concentrations in both science and social studies. I am the president of the UVM Prison Project, as well as a member of multiple other clubs on campus. I am seeking an endorsement in English Language Learners, and soon taking a TEFL certification class in Prague. I plan on moving to Europe in the fall to teach English abroad and travel the world with my free time. My hobbies include playing the drums, skiing, and writing poetry.
Linda Backus Memorial Scholarship
My name is Kahlia Livingston and I'm a junior at UVM majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. I grew up in Burlington, Vermont and received my K-12 education within the Burlington School District. Growing up in Burlington was an honorable experience as this environment helped enrich me with wonderful, progressive values that frame my passion for social justice today. Social activist work is crucial to my life as I plan to focus my career on making the societal changes needed to distribute justice fairly.
Jeffrey Brace Scholarship
I was born in Utah and grew up in Virginia. My senior year of high school I moved to Vermont. Two years after graduating high school I decided to attend UVM. I am majoring in Natural Resource Planning. I love dogs and started a dog walking business called Adventure Dogs while going to school. I also coached wrestling and taught primitive skills to children. I am currently engaged and a week before graduation I will get to marry the love of my life.
My name is Sheila Cruz, and I’m an Early Education/Special Education major, minoring in American Sign Language, Human Development and Political Science. Originally from the Bronx, NY, I am Puerto Rican and African American. I have been accepted into the Teach for America 2017 corps and will be relocated to Jacksonville, Florida to be a teacher after graduation. I will also be pursuing my master in Special Education. One of my favorite quotes is “Speak in such a way that people love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you”.
Nikisha Falcone is a current sophomore at the University of Vermont studying Psychology, and Linguistics, with a minor in American Sign Language. She comes to the University from Franklin, MA, and chose UVM because of it’s great location, strong psychology program, and athletic department. In addition to being on the Varsity Track and Field Team, Nikisha holds four on campus jobs, and is involved in a variety of clubs. Eager to meet new people, Nikisha enjoys sharing common experiences, and connecting to others.
Skylar Haugenes is a graduating senior with a degree in early childhood special education and a major concentration in communication sciences and disorders from Little Silver, NJ. She has spent much of her time at UVM involved with Club AFECT, a club committed to serving and supporting children with a range of abilities and economic classes. She has spent the last three years as a peer mentor for the Think College on campus assisting adults with intellectual disabilities complete a college certificate program. She has just been promoted to lead mentor of the program for her outstanding commitment to the program and to the cause of high education for all people.
Olivia Peña is a senior Food Systems major in the College of Agriculture and Life Science. Olivia hails from Verona, NJ – a small suburb outside of New York City. Her lifelong love of agriculture and animals brought her to UVM, where she shifted her focus to the economic and social inequities of the food system. Her involvement with the Real Food Challenge helps to boost local economies in Vermont. Additionally, through teaching assistantship, leadership in the student of color community, and writing publications, Olivia strives for racial and social justice on a predominantly white campus.
Becca Potter, a 2017 graduate from the University of Vermont, studied English, Sociology, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. While at UVM, Becca served as Director for the Alternative Spring Break program, a Fellow at Mansfield Hall, Facilitator at the 2016 and 2017 Next Step Social Justice Retreats, President of UVM’s Tower Society (the senior honor society for those who hold subordinated gender identities), a Training Intern for the Service Trek program, and a Writing Tutor, Partner, and Presentation Coordinator for the Writing Center. In post-grad life, Becca is honored to be joining the small and mighty team as an intern at Break Away, a nonprofit based in Atlanta with the ultimate vision of creating a society of active citizens.