WKU Sisterhood grant finalists announced

Shantel-Ann Pettway

Next month, more than $30,000 will be awarded among five women for a project that will assist WKU.

The award will come from the WKU Sisterhood, a group of WKU alumnae who supply funds to selected organizations with the objective to help WKU annually.

The five finalists were notified on Sept. 19. 

The finalists are Kathryn Boldt, women’s softball assistant coach, Charlotte Elder, instructor of Communication, Laura Monarch, director of Study Abroad and Global Learning, Martha Sales, director of the TRIO programs, and Elizabeth Madariaga, staff counselor for the Counseling and Testing Center.

Sales is applying for the award in order to expand the TRIO program to the regional campuses of WKU. Currently, the TRIO staff on WKU’s main campus travel to off-campus locations in order to help the students there.

TRIO programs are federally funded  programs intended to provide access to higher learning for lesser privileged students.

“Instead of sending staff to Glasgow and other locations, it’s more beneficial to have TRIO programs based in various locations to continuously aid students at their disposal,” Sales said. 

In order to apply for the WKU Sisterhood grant, applicants must include information such as how their project will help the WKU community and any measurable change. Anyone can apply for a grant.

Amy Miller, a member of WKU Sisterhood, said a committee then narrows down the applicants to a select few who then give a presentation on why their organization deserves funding.

Miller said the presentation may aid the finalists in communicating their idea to the community, but the finalist who has the best presentation does not necessarily get the award. 

“We focus more on how each program will benefit WKU and open opportunities for the campus,” Miller said.

Monarch is seeking funding for the Diversity Abroad Grant. The grant is intended to help underprivileged, diverse and non-traditional students to study abroad. 

“The main barrier for diverse students not studying abroad is financial,” she said. 

Monarch said diverse students include first-generation college students and students with disabilities. It isn’t just limited to race.

The other projects include a program to encourage elementary students to read, a facility at Lost River Cave which will encourage appreciation for the natural world and a center to assist students affected by sexual and domestic violence.

The recipient of the award will be picked after the finalists give their presentations to the full WKU Sisterhood group on Oct. 3.