By Stephanie Para |Staff Writer|
Two CSUSB students who were struggling academically at the university last quarter have turned their educational careers around, earning $500 in scholarship money.
Sociology major Asia Wilson, and liberal studies major Sandra Saldivar, were awarded the Dianna Pelletier Scholarship last Winter quarter, a financial award that is given as an incentive for students on academic probation.
Dianna Pelletier, the scholarship’s namesake, was a CSUSB staff member who dedicated her life to advising and helping students in need. She passed away due to multiple bouts of cancer in October 2012.
According to Matt Markin, a CSUSB Academic Advisor, the office changed the name of the original scholarship, Academic Resiliency, to Dianna Pelletier, in honor of her and all that she did for the students.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, a student must be an undergraduate on an administrative probation contract, enrolled in a maximum of 10 units applying toward graduation units, and earn a minimum 3.2 GPA for a specific quarter, according to the CSUSB Academic and Advising website.
The prospective student would then fill out an application and complete an essay explaining their resiliency.
“It felt like a bottomless hole with no possible way of getting out,” wrote Saldivar in her own resiliency essay.
Saldivar went from being a 4.0 GPA honors student in high school to being on academic probation in her first year here.
“I was overwhelmed by all the freedom and responsibilities,” added Saldivar.
Saldivar was determined not to let school beat her and started working hard to improve her academic situation. She focused in class, made sure to ask enough questions, and used all the resources available to her, such as office hours, tutoring, and group study.
Saldivar heard about the scholarship through many emails she received from academic advising.
Since last Winter quarter, Saldivar was able to raise her GPA to a 3.34 and is now in good academic standing, said Matthew Markin, an academic advisor in the Academic and Advising office here on campus.
“When I found out I won I was very happy, I couldn’t believe it. My family was proud of me. This has proven to me that I could do anything I want to do with hard work,” said Saldivar.
Wilson, the other recipient of the $500 scholarship, is a senior, with a 3.24 GPA for the Winter 2014 quarter.
Wilson saw a downward trend in her grades after she lost her job back in August 2013.
“I was very down and depressed. I didn’t know what I was going to do about money and what I would do to pay my bills. One thing I did know is that I would continue to go to school if not anything else,” wrote Wilson in her resiliency essay.
Wilson studied harder, made sure never to miss an assignment and spent her free time focused on improving her grades.
Wilson is set to graduate this Spring.
“Even if it is an incentive, the scholarship is positive. These students take that extra step to apply and meet the qualifications,” said Markin. He then added that it is about showcasing the student in their individual situations, and all the hard work they do to improve their grades.
The Dianna Pelletier Scholarship is given to two students every quarter. The advising office is currently seeking qualified students to award them up to $1,000 scholarship.
For more information, inquiring students can visit the Advising and Academic Services homepage on csusb.edu or call Advising & Academic Services at (909) 537-5034.