An MTSU student is the winner of the 2020 ATHENA Patrons Society Scholarship from a Rutherford County women’s organization whose work includes supporting nontraditional students pursuing higher education.
Karla Kirelawich of La Vergne, Tennessee, is a sophomore majoring in graphic design in MTSU’s Department of Art and Design.
She returned to college this spring after a 13-year break to seek a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, aiming to find “a career that allows me to flex my creative abilities while also allowing me to prepare for the future.”
Kirelawich and her family have lived in Middle Tennessee for much of the last two decades.
Her scholarship for nontraditional students is sponsored by Rutherford Cable, an organization founded in 2008 to promote women’s professional advancement.
The group presents a $3,000 scholarship each year to a Rutherford County woman who has graduated high school or earned a GED certificate at least five years earlier and is pursuing an associate or a bachelor’s degree.
Students normally receive their awards at a formal ceremony each spring that also recognizes the professionals who are nominees and recipients of the ATHENA International Leadership Award for Rutherford County. The 2020 event has been postponed, however, because of the pandemic.
The ATHENA Patrons Society, the financial component of ATHENA International, funds the scholarships. ATHENA International is a worldwide organization whose website, www.athenainternational.org, says it supports and recognizes “individuals who excel in their professions, give back to their communities and help raise up other leaders, especially women.”
“Pursuing higher education, especially later in life, is a courageous act,” said Amelia Bozeman, chair of the 2020 ATHENA Awards in Rutherford County.
“The ATHENA Patrons Society applauds Karla’s commitment to learning and professional development. We congratulate Karla, and we know that her future is bright.”
Rutherford Cable, which is the first chapter of the women’s organization Nashville Cable, meets monthly for breakfast sessions featuring keynote speakers and networking opportunities. It also offers professional and personal development and business growth through workshops, mentoring and referrals.
For more information on MTSU’s Department of Art and Design, part of the College of Liberal Arts, visit www.mtsu.edu/art. To learn more about Rutherford Cable and its programs, visit http://rutherfordcable.org.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)