It's Back! The Return of the Scholar Blogger Series
When deciding whether or not to continue this series for another year, the answer was clear from the start—of course! Our scholarship recipients somehow seem to become more accomplished every year, and we can’t help but to want to show them off. This year, Theta Foundation awarded an incredible $684,860 in scholarship funding to 275 collegians and alumnae. 123 of these recipients are pursuing graduate degrees, and 152 are pursuing undergraduate degrees. In total, 330 scholarships were awarded from 173 different endowed scholarship funds and one-time scholarship contributions to these 275 bright, talented, dedicated women.
Just like last year, this series will feature four Theta Foundation scholarship recipients who have so generously agreed to share their experiences, insight, and advice on topics relevant to all students. These blog posts, featuring two collegiate and two alumnae scholarship recipients, will be shared periodically throughout the 2016-2017 Academic Year. The first blog post of this year’s series will be posted in just a few short weeks! I am thrilled to introduce you to this year’s Scholar Bloggers, who have thoroughly impressed us with their academic achievements, extra-curricular commitments, and dedication to service.
Aarani Arulmoli, Zeta Rho/UC San Diego
2nd-year masters student Master of Science in Biotechnology Management
Aarani graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Systems. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Biotechnology Management at the University of California, Irvine. She was the recipient of the Biotechnology Management Fellowship and currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for the Women in Business Association. Aarani is a graduate student researcher at the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UCI, studying the regulation of developmental potency of stem cells. Over the summer, she worked as a clinical intern for Ambry Genetics, conducting clinical research to support genetic counselors in the interpretation of patient genetic test results. After graduation, she hopes to return to the molecular diagnostics industry to continue to help improve the treatment and detection of human diseases. During her undergraduate years, she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Assistant for the Zeta Rho Chapter. In her spare time, she volunteers for Visions Global Empowerment, which helps train volunteers to teach students from destitute areas of India about leadership. Aarani received a Betty B. and James B. Lambert Scholarship and the Janet Paine Peters Scholarship from Theta Foundation this year.
Molly Basdeo, Theta Theta/North Carolina State
2nd-year masters student Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs
Molly graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, focused on Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies. She received numerous honors during her time as an undergraduate, including the Walter J. Mathews Medal, the highest nonacademic award at the university, for her leadership and service contributions; the Senior Diamond Dedication Award for her exhibition of the highest standards of purpose, performance, and dedication to fraternal values and the importance of leaving a positive legacy for future members; and the Outstanding Woman in Overall Character Award, recognizing her for her leadership, academic excellence, and community involvement. She was a charter member of the Theta Theta Chapter, and served the new chapter as Chief Education Officer. She currently works as a graduate advisor at the University of South Carolina, where she is pursuing her Master’s degree. She facilitated at the Beta Theta Pi Wooden Institute for Men of Principle over the summer, challenging a small group of fraternity men to share ideas, partake in leadership activities, and develop change initiatives to bring back to their chapters. She volunteers as the Communications Chair and Young Alumnae Liasion for the Kappa Alpha Theta Columbia Area Alumnae Chapter, the Scholarship Advisor for Zeta Eta/Wofford, and the Community Service Chair for the University of South Carolina Personnel Association. This year, Molly received a Virginia M. Sorenson Scholarship from Theta Foundation.
Kelly Cosgrove, Gamma Tau/Tulsa
Senior Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Pre-Med) with minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish
Kelly is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Gamma Tau Chapter, and has previously served the chapter as Chief Marketing Officer, Panhellenic Delegate, and Greek Activities Coordinator. She has been honored as a Top 10 Freshman, received the Outstanding Junior Award from the University of Tulsa’s Psychology Department, and was chosen to participate in the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge. She currently works as an office assistant in the University of Tulsa Office of Student Affairs, tutors student-athletes, helps guide new students through their first year at the University of Tulsa as an orientation leader, and is a research assistant at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. Additionally, she is the President of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, Public Relations Chair for Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, and serves on the Future Alumni Council for the University of Tulsa. She has worked with the CASA chapter in Tulsa and has volunteered with the Little Lighthouse Preschool for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities on a weekly basis since 2013. Theta Foundation selected Kelly as the recipient of this year’s Alice Allen Brant Founders Memorial Scholarship.
Julia Rodriguez, Beta Psi/McGill
Senior Bachelor’s degree in International Development with a minor in Hispanic Languages
As a member of the Honors program at McGill University, Julia is dedicated to achieving highest scholarship, but is equally focused on the well-being of her fellow students. During her junior year, she worked as a “Floor Fellow,” a resident advisor at McGill University, providing emotional support, resources, and crisis intervention to 36 first-year students. She has been involved with The Bull & Bear, McGill’s student-run news magazine, as a news writer, editor, and managing editor. Julia planned and executed two sisterhood workshops during a critical time for the Beta Psi Chapter, utilizing skills she developed as a resident advisor to ensure the workshops were successful. Julia is currently working as an administrative assistant and file clerk at a local law firm and has hopes of going to law school someday. In her spare time, she works part-time at a local restaurant, enjoys knitting, and stays active by rock climbing! She received Theta Foundation’s Joyce Ault Cordon Scholarship this year.
It is easy to see why we chose these four Leading Women to contribute to this unique series. I hope you enjoy getting to know them just as much as I have! We wish our 2016 scholarship recipients, and all Thetas pursuing your academic goals this year, good luck as you embark on a new school year. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!