Cooperatives’ scholarship aids MTSU ag student/lif...

Cooperatives’ scholarship aids MTSU ag student/lifeguard

MTSU junior Tori Haege works as a lifeguard at Campus Recreation Center. She wants to pursue a career in soil conservation science and management or biofuels once she earns her bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science.

MTSU junior Victoria Haege, center, receives congratulations for the scholarship recognition she received from Tennessee Council of Cooperatives representative Frank Jennings, right, and Dr. Warren Gill, director of MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience. (photo submitted)

Earlier this year, the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives made it financially easier for her to attend college by awarding the Murfreesboro resident a $750 scholarship for the fall semester.

Haege said the scholarship “helps pay for my classes. Without scholarships, I would not be in college.”

The 2010 Riverdale High School graduate transferred from the University of Tennessee-Martin this semester. She also has Tennessee Hope Lottery, work- study and other scholarships that help her pay for her education.

Haege said the work-study is a “volunteer community service” in which she helps grade papers and perform office work in the MTSU Department of Health and Human Performance.

When Haege returned home to Murfreesboro for weekends and semester breaks from her UT-Martin classes, she has worked as an MTSU campus rec lifeguard. Four months ago, she was promoted to head lifeguard. She said it is her only job.

Haege maintains about a 3.5 grade-point average in the classroom.

Dr. Warren Gill, director of MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, said the partnership between the cooperatives and universities “shows the commitment to education that’s exemplified in the scholarship and I’m sure the students appreciate it, too.”

The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives sponsor six college scholarships for students from each of Tennessee’s four-year agricultural programs: Austin Peay State University, MTSU, Tennessee Technological University, the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, UT-Martin and Tennessee State University in Nashville.

The scholarship, established in 1984, is an effort to acknowledge and assist college-age students most likely to return to communities served by rural cooperatives. The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives considers the scholarships an investment in the future of cooperatives and their leadership.

Several past scholarship recipients now serve in one of Tennessee’s cooperatives or in one of the state’s agriculture-related agencies, which work with, support and help build cooperative businesses.

To be considered for the scholarship, the student must be a citizen of Tennessee, enrolled in a college of agriculture, maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and be in his or her junior year of study.

For more information about the scholarship, Tennessee cooperatives or the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives, contact Roberta Smith at 423-447-2121 or, or visit

— Randy Weiler (