Southern University students awarded scholarship to pursue eco-friendly studies

Brittany Francis
Public Information and Communications Director 
(225) 219-3306 Office

Tyana Daquano
Public Information Officer
(225) 342-5173 Office

Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) 

January 23, 2019

Baton Rouge- Three students at Southern University Baton Rouge have been awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship. The scholarship is for students pursuing a degree in forestry, wildlife or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university. 

Last year, 22 students from LSU, Louisiana Tech, UL-Lafayette, Nicholls State University and Northwestern State University were awarded the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship. This is the first time in several years that students were awarded from Southern University.
“Certainly, their academic financial need is lessened or has dissipated with this award. It is a milestone in their forestry career path,” said Dr. C. Reuben Walker, associate vice chancellor to Strategic Initiatives, Auxiliary Services, and External Engagements. 

Walker encouraged several students at Southern University to apply. 

“Gratitude goes to the Honorable Ann Smith (Southern University Board of Supervisors) and Mrs. Deborah Paul (Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance) for their total commitment to students. Ann Smith often says ‘it is all about the students’. My efforting could not have been done without these two individuals sharing the opportunity and benefits for forestry students at Southern University to apply for this award,” Dr. Walker said.

Undergraduate students who receive the scholarship are awarded $2,000 annually; graduate students receive $3,000 annually. The cumulative maximum award is $12,000 for three years of undergraduate study and two years of graduate study.

To be eligible to receive the scholarship, undergraduate students must have at least 60 earned college credit hours and at least a 2.50 cumulative college GPA. Graduate students need at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA on all credits earned in grad school. 

“I am absolutely honored and blessed to have received this scholarship,” said Asija Rice, a senior urban forestry major. “This encourages me to continue my education by pursuing a masters in horticulture entomology.”

Rice hopes to open a botanical garden and engage the community to make a more eco-friendly and sustainable environment.

Simbrey Majors and Wilbert Thomas, both graduate students at Southern University Baton Rouge, also received the scholarship.

“This means the stress of finding extra funding for school will be eased and I can focus all my attention on my studies,” said Majors, who intends to pursue a PhD in agriculture and natural resources. 

Thomas, a non-traditional student, has a goal of becoming part of the faculty at Southern University once he receives a PhD in urban forestry.

“This scholarship will help me with my self-confidence, as I am over 60 years old and at times intimidated by matriculating with students much younger than I am,” Thomas said. “My dream keeps me motivated.”

Interested students should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Rockefeller State Wildlife scholarship application available on the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) website .

Asija Rice (left), Wilbert Thomas and Simbrey Majors (right)
Photo Credit: John Oubre,III – SUBR Photographer