Three nontraditional MTSU students with divergent career paths — economics, actuarial science and pre-occupational therapy — are the recipients of this year’s June S. Anderson Foundation scholarships.
The awards of yearly full tuition were presented May 14 at a luncheon at B. McNeel’s Restaurant in Murfreesboro.
Meredith Allen, a two-time recipient originally from Fairview, Tenn., has lived in Murfreesboro since 1986. That’s when she first entered MTSU as an aerospace engineering major.
She married and had children and put college on hold. After her son died, her husband encouraged her to return to college as a way to deal with her grief.
This time, the 44-year-old Allen is majoring in economics, which she said is about “critical thinking and current news.”
“I would love to do something for a think tank or some kind of nonprofit organization,” Allen said. “I have two special-needs children, and I wouldn’t mind doing something that helps them and helps other children.”
Sharon Crisman, a 44-year-old actuarial science major who grew up in Linden, Tenn., and now lives in Franklin, Tenn., said she majored in accounting during her first stint in college. She gave up a four-year scholarship after her husband finished his degree and obtained a job out of town.
Three children later, Crisman decided to go back to college.
“I’ve been working part-time since I started (classes) full-time in the fall of last year,” Crisman said, “but that job is ending this month. So this news came at the perfect time for me, because I was in panic mode wondering if I’d made the right decision.”
Crisman said she wants to start with an underwriting job in the Franklin/Cool Springs area, where numerous insurance companies are located, and ease into an actuarial job later.
Native Nashvillian Misti Maynard, who will turn 37 this year, majors in pre-occupational therapy at MTSU. Ultimately, she wants to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy at Belmont University, but she doesn’t plan to teach.
“My mother suffered a disability, and watching her go through all that is what inspired me to go down this track,” Maynard said, explaining that she prefers to specialize in pediatrics instead of gerontology.
She said she is very grateful for her scholarship, not only for personal reasons.
“It provides me with a wonderful opportunity, by (the foundation) helping me, in the long term, to help someone else in my field,” said Maynard.
A recipient of a June S. Anderson Foundation scholarship must be a woman 23 years of age or older pursuing an undergraduate degree at MTSU. She must be a full-time student with a minimum 2.00 grade point average, demonstrate financial need and meet in-state tuition requirements.
The June S. Anderson Foundation was established in 1982 to support women entering non-traditional educational fields. Anderson taught chemistry at MTSU from 1958 to 1983.
Anderson founded Concerned Faculty and Administrative Women in 1975 as an academic support service for women and established the Women’s Information Service for Education in 1977. She also founded Women in Higher Education in Tennessee, participated in the Rape Alert program, conducted women’s studies classes and championed pay equity, child care centers and proper campus lighting.
For more information about the foundation and its scholarships, contact Dr. Mary Magada-Ward, foundation board president and a professor of philosophy at MTSU, at 615-898-5174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)