Students receive Co-op scholarships

By Dawn Panka

Four NIU minority students were awarded scholarships totaling $2,000 from the Cooperative Education Program.

The scholarships, issued for $500 per academic year, are renewable for up to two years.

The applicants who received the scholarships are Jonathan Ando, Zandrah Maguidad, Sandra Ramirez and Maria Tamunday.

To qualify, applicants must be of Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American descent and be a co-op education enrollee, said Casey Bozek, business coordinator of the Cooperative Education Program.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, with a declared major or pre-major, sophomore or junior standing and a minimum 3.0 grade point average, Bozek said.

Prior to graduation, the applicant must have completed a minimum of two co-op assignments with an employer who provides academically-related career work experience.

In addition to fulfilling these requirements, the applicant must list all organizations they participated in and write a 500-word essay which deals with the Cooperative Education Program.

Bozek said the winners of the scholarships were chosen by a committee of three including; Marilyn Smith, Humanities and Human and Family Resources Coordinator, Deborah Blakeley, Science Coordiantor, and Barbara Du Rocher, Masters and Public Administration Coordinator.

About 21 students applied for the four scholarships, and the scholarship money was directly given to the four winners, not deducted from their tuition, Bozek said.

“The money comes in handy. Basically it’s book money. Two hundred and fifty dollars a semester just about covers books,” said Ando, an electrical engineering major.

Ramirez, a health administration major, said she was unaware of the existence of the Cooperative Education Program.

“I was really kind of surprised by the whole thing. I had been identified as a minority, and was a possible candidate for the scholarship. Now I am enrolled in the co-op program, but if I hadn’t received that letter, I might never have known about the program.”

Tamunday, a finance major, said she is still waiting for a job through the co-op program but “the money really helps a lot now.”

“I didn’t feel that I had a chance because I had a problem with my paperwork, but I’m glad I have a chance to be enrolled in the co-op program and gain work experience now, and the money helps with books and tuition,” said Maguidad, a visual communications major.