Annual Honors Brunch was held at Southern Oregon University to bestow scholarships to eight women from SOU and Rogue Community College.

More than 200 gathered to honor the achievements of Southern Oregon University’s departmental stars on May 16, 2009 at the AAUW Annual Honors Brunch held at the Stevenson Union.

Eight scholarship-winning women from Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University spoke of their sometimes difficult road to graduation.

AAUW awarded two undergrad scholarships to SOU students Sharon Elizabeth Bahr and Tiffany Ann McCormack. Sharon has dedicated her career to helping women and children who have escaped domestic violence situations. Tiffany will continue her study of comparative literature at an Ivy League university before returning to Alaska to teach.

Two graduate scholarships were awarded to SOU students Auricia Tama-Sweet and Danielle DeAnne Wechselberger. Auricia returned to school after graduating from the Police Academy in Medford. She plans to inspire children to excel in her future classroom. Danielle revealed that she has learned to balance family responsibilities and academics by accepting the fact that she does not have “to be perfect.”

Four RCC students received scholarships: Kayla Trammel, Shiloh Goddard, and Perla and Esmeralda Andrade (twins from White City).

Both Perla and Esmeralda hope to enter the health care field to ensure that minorities receive preventative health services. Kayla sees children who are the victims of domestic violence as “the children of promise,” rather than children-at-risk. She is focusing her positive energy in an effort help them realize their potential. Shiloh currently works at the Rogue Valley Cardiac Unit and hopes to work with patients as a nurse practitioner. She admits that “most of her people skills were acquired on the job working as a waitress or a bartender in Ashland for several years” before returning to school.

***

AAUW/Ashland is a branch of the national AAUW organization which is dedicated to helping women and girls achieve financial independence through education. More information is available at the website www.aauwashland.org.