Braille Monitor                                                                  August-September 1985

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Scholarships 1985

(Note: The following remarks were made by Peggy Pinder, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, at the banquet at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Louisville Thursday evening, July 4, 1985.)

The National Federation of the Blind is a wonderful place to be. Two strong qualities have always characterized the Federation--profound thought and committed action. We in the Federation have a characteristic way of life, which we experience at its most intense level at our national conventions. We have created for ourselves a community, working to build the future that we want for ourselves and for our children. An important part of that future is the thinkers and the leaders of the blind community who are now in high school and in college. The Federation has a major commitment to our future and, consequently, a major commitment to the next generation of leaders.

We live by our belief. We have committed nearly $100,000 to our scholarship program to honor the outstanding blind scholars of today. These men and women represent excellence. They also represent collectively the truth of the Federation philosophy. Their fine characters and their chosen careers, taken together, are a conclusive demonstration of the proposition that the blind can aspire, achieve, and excel in every field of study.

Tonight it is my pleasure to present thirty scholarships and five certificates of achievement to men and women who were selected from a pool of over 400 applicants. Here, fellow Federationists, are the winners:

The first category of winners is a category called Certificates of Achievement. The applications of these students were so strong that we wanted, as a Federation, to recognize these five persons. One of them is with us tonight--Douglas Gregory Lee of Illinois. Doug will be entering the University of Illinois in the fall as a freshman in mathematics and computer science. The other four persons who are going to receive certificates are Rodenna Agustin Castillo of Florida, Christian S. Shinaberger of California, Bruce Douglas Smith of North Carolina, and Sheri Beth Wells of Michigan.

The next category is the category of National Federation of the Blind Convention Scholarships. The winners of these scholarships are: Terry D. Eagle of Michigan, William C. Perry of Hawaii, and Laura Bills Silas of Utah.

The next category is National Federation of the Blind Merit Scholarships. These are $500 scholarships.

Beth Ann Anderson of Arizona: Beth will be a junior in the fall at Arizona State University, where she is earning a bachelor's degree in sociology and then intends to enter law school.

Anna Sigren Bauer of Kansas: Anna is attending Knox College in Illinois, where she will be a sophomore in the fall, working toward a bachelor of arts degree in the liberal arts area.

Amy J. Brown of Michigan: Amy will be a freshman in the fall at Western Michigan University, where she intends to earn a bachelor's degree in communications.

John C. (Chip) Johnson of Illinois: In the fall Chip will be a sophomore at the University of Illinois, where he intends to earn a bachelor's degree in Spanish.

Jan Marie Nelson of Wyoming: Jan will be a sophomore at the University of Wyoming in the fall, where she intends to earn a bachelor's degree in management information systems.

Giacomo L. (Jack) Ortizano is earning two bachelor's degrees and intends to earn a master's degree at the University of Tennessee in the fall. Jack intends to become a professor in the field of communications.

John W. Tomblin of Missouri: John will be a senior in the fall at the University of Missouri at Columbia where he is studying agronomy and intends to become a professor of agronomy.

Joseph C. Wood of Indiana: Joe will be a senior in the fall at Purdue University. Joe intends to earn a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and intends to go on for further study in his chosen field.

The next scholarship is the Robert Nelson Funk Scholarship in the amount of $800. The winner of this scholarship is David Yale Hunt of Nebraska. David will be a sophomore in the fall at McCook Community College and intends to earn a bachelor's degree in counseling.

The next scholarship is the Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,800.

The winner of this scholarship is Blaire Pilar Hansen of California. Blaire will be an entering freshman at Yale University in the fall, where she intends to study either journalism or genetics engineering.

The next scholarship is the Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarship in the amount of $2,500. There are two such scholarships. The first will be received by Sandra Jean Ryan of Iowa. Sandy will be a junior in the fall at Iowa State University, where she is working toward her bachelor of science degree in dietetics. Brenda J. Smith of Connecticut: Brenda will be a senior in the fall at Amherst College, where she is working toward her bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts. Brenda intends to go on and earn a master's degree in public policy.

The next scholarship is the Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

Michael L. Gosse of Connecticut: Michael will be a senior in the fall at the University of Connecticut, where he is working toward a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. Mike intends to go on to earn his Ph.D. in engineering and hopes to teach after he completes his studies.

The next category is the National Federation of the Blind Merit Scholarships in the amount of $2,500.

Rachel Ann Brailove of New Jersey: Rachel will be an entering freshman at Princeton University in the fall, where she intends to study toward a bachelor's degree in linguistics.

Laura Elizabeth Coughlin of New York: In the fall Laura will be a junior at Brown University, where she is studying toward a degree in history.

Matthew Charles King of Washington State: Matt will be a sophomore at Notre Dame in the fall, where he is studying toward a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and also studying music. Matt intends to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering.

Kelly Dean Lovell of Iowa: Kelly is a third-year law student at Drake University Law School.

Cindy Michelle Mcintosh of Tennessee: Cindy will be an entering freshman in the fall at East Tennessee State University, where she intends to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology and hopes ultimately to earn a doctorate and have a private practice, as well as teach at the university level.

Marianne Miller of Oregon: Marianne is studying towards a doctoral degree in organizational studies at the University of Oregon.

SueEllen O'Connor of Alaska: SueEllen will be an entering freshman in the fall at the University of Alaska, where she ultimately hopes to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.

Kenneth Adam Silberman of Pennsylvania: Ken is currently studying in the master's degree program at Cornell University in aerospace engineering. He hopes to have a career in the defense of the United States of America.

Marion L. Todd of Indiana: Marion will be a junior in the fall at Indiana University, where she is studying towards a bachelor's degree in instructional materials technology and hopes to earn a graduate degree in the same field.

The next category of scholarships, also designated National Federation of the Blind Merit Scholarships, is in the amount of $3,000.

Valerie J. Brown of Texas: Valerie is currently studying towards a master's degree at North Texas State University in Library Science and in art history.

Eddie Elaine Glenn of South Carolina: Eddie is studying in the doctoral program toward a degree in rehabilitation counseling at South Carolina State College.

Patti Gregory of Michigan: Patti will be an entering first-year law student in the fall at the University of Chicago Law School.

Christopher J. Kuczynski of Pennsylvania: Chris will be a senior in the fall at Villanova University, where he is working toward a bachelor's degree in English literature, after which he intends to enter law school.

The final scholarship of our 1985 scholarship program is entitled American Brotherhood for the Blind Scholarship in the amount of $6,000. The winner of the American Brotherhood for the Blind Scholarship is a lady many of you have met. And everyone who has met her, I am sure, has found her as delightful and as charming and as intelligent and as poised as did the Scholarship Committee. Jennifer Kellogg of New Mexico: Jennifer will be attending Pomona College in the fall, where she is working towards a degree in government and hopes to join the Diplomatic Corps of the United States. In addition to the $6,000 scholarship, Jennifer Kellogg has earned the opportunity to speak to you this evening. And now, here is the American Brotherhood for the Blind scholar this year.

Jennifer Kellogg: "Thank you so very much for this great honor. I have been in the National Federation of the Blind for three years, and I thank you for this scholarship and for the confidence that you have placed in me. I would like to recognize a couple of people: Fred Schroeder for his guidance. His guidance brought me into this organization. Peggy Pinder for being a consistent role model. And Marc Maurer. His encouragement came through his dynamic leadership. But most important of all I would like to thank Dr. Jernigan for his undying support, inspiration, and everlasting patience in helping me to realize my potential as a blind person.

"I am currently studying at Pomona College, pursuing a degree in government. One day I want to hold an office in the Foreign Diplomatic Corps. At the present time the blind are prohibited from holding any positions in foreign service. I know from what I have learned in the Federation that-- together, with a unified movement--we can change this discriminatory practice. "I am so very proud to be a member of the National Federation of the Blind and will contribute my talent and energy to help build and strengthen our movement. The Federation has taught me to be positive about blindness and taught me the belief that every blind person can lead a life of true equality. I would like to thank you again for your confidence in me and for sharing the love that binds us all together. Thank you."

Peggy Pinder then continued: I would like to conclude by addressing all the winners. We have given you much this evening. Each of you has earned your award by your hard work and high achievement. We salute you and hope for you that you will always be challenged; that you will always be pushed to use your utmost; and that, therefore, you will always be successful, as you have been thus far.

This week we of the Federation have given you something far more valuable than your scholarships. This week you have shared with us (many of you for the first time) our Federation way of life. In one sense our Federation way is the way of the student, for we are committed lifetime students of life. We study the world around us--what happens, and why. We analyze and reflect upon our blindness and measure its effects. Our study extends beyond this profound thought to dedicated and purposeful action, based upon that thought. As our President Dr. Jernigan says: "Philosophy bakes no bread, but without philosophy no bread is baked." We think before we speak; discuss before we act; and above all, believe in working together to achieve that future that we have chosen.

Winners, we have shown all this to you this week as we have talked with you, laughed with you, dined with you, partied with you, and shared with you the fellowship of the National Federation of the Blind. We have given you the greatest gift that we have--the movement that we have fashioned ourselves. The Federation is a winner as you have heard again and again this week. We are the most important force in matters concerning blindness. Officials of business and government come to us to learn what to do. We have built this winner, the Federation, upon our collective spirit. That spirit is our respect for one another; affection for one another; and commitment to one another, which we call love.

Our real gift to you is our love, the power which has made the Federation the winner that it is. Together let us take that love and fashion a world in which all blind people can be winners.