Texas Woman’s University students Lisa Ferguson of Corinth and Elodie Singer of Denton are two of the recipients of Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarships.
Ferguson is pursuing a doctor of nursing practice degree but initially wanted to be a physician, she said.
“I decided nursing was a better fit for me,” she said.
She earned an associate degree in nursing and worked as a nurse while she earned her bachelor’s degree.
Ferguson then joined the Air Force. She wanted to work in an intensive care unit, but it was full of new nurses, she said, so she replaced a nurse.
“I fell in love with women’s health,” Ferguson said.
After 20 years and 10 days in the military, she retired as a major.
Ferguson said she was honored to be considered for the scholarship. She was nominated by her mentor, Peggy Mancuso, a nursing professor at TWU.
Ferguson said it’s important for philanthropists to support education.
“I’m not sure I’d be where I’m at without scholarships,” she said.
Ferguson plans to graduate in May.
Singer is pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Nyack College in New York and then spent six months in Hungary, where she discovered her passion for music therapy.
Singer was in Hungary to teach English, and she visited a home for disabled children where music therapy was used.
“I just kept thinking about the possibility of music therapy,” Singer said, adding that she then decided to apply to TWU.
She will finish her coursework in May. Then she’ll have an internship for six to eight months before completing her thesis.
Singer said she is interested in working with autistic children.
She was surprised and grateful to be nominated for the scholarship, she said.
She was nominated by Nancy Hadsell, a music professor and coordinator of music therapy at TWU, and Pamela Youngblood, chairwoman of TWU’s Department of Music and Drama.
“I’m so thankful that Virginia Chandler Dykes has made it possible for us students to have it,” Singer said of the scholarship.
Ferguson and Singer will receive their scholarships during the 11th annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon on Feb. 21.
TWU students Jill Bellomy of Dallas and Steven Gerardi of San Antonio also will receive scholarships.
Patricia and Curtis Meadows will receive the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award, presented by Bank of Texas, TWU and the TWU Foundation, at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion in Dallas.
The award is given to Dallas leaders for their volunteer efforts and commitment to education.
Past recipients include T. Boone Pickens, Myrna D. Schlegel and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Joel Allison and Kathleen Mason.
The eponym for the award and scholarships is known for her work in occupational therapy as well as her leadership in charitable organizations. Dykes also served on the TWU Board of Regents.
She established the Virginia Chandler Dykes endowed scholarship fund at TWU in 2002 for students in occupational therapy, nursing, professional education and arts and sciences.
Tickets for the luncheon cost $175 to $250. Tables of 10 are available.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .