Scholarships

Through the generous support of WLI Executive Board members and MSU alumni, the WLI can provide practical support to our student leaders. Several of our annual scholarships are outlined below.

 

Loaiza-Souza Leadership Award - *WLI Cohort ONLY

The purpose of the Loaiza-Souza Leadership Award is to empower future women leaders to change the world. To this end, the donors are committed to building a culture that pulls women up to ensure that women receive the necessary support to be confident and achieve their highest potential. Applications due March 15, 2024.

  • Three (3) $1,000 scholarships awarded.
  • How To Apply

    Eligibility

    • Applicants must be currently enrolled at Michigan State University and able to receive scholarship distribution in the spring term (after the winners are announced and officially contacted).

    • ‌Applicants must be active participants of the WLI student cohort program with no more than one absence recorded.

    • ‌Applicants must have a minimum overall/cumulative 3.5 GPA.

    • Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be considered (e.g., missing or unmatched criteria).

    • Award recipients will be required to submit a letter of acceptance and thank you within two weeks of notification to receive the award. Letters should be addressed to Alejandra Loaiza Delgado and Rodrigo Araujo de Souza. The letters will be submitted to and delivered to the donors by Amanda Guinot Talbot, PhD, WLI Director at guinotam@msu.edu.

    • Depending on the amount and type of an applicants’ financial aid package, this scholarship may change the aid package. If selected as a scholarship recipient, it is the student’s responsibility to investigate whether the award will adversely affect their financial aid.

    Submission

    Create a resume and cover letter tailored to your out-of-college dream job. Where do you hope to be after college? What is the position you wish to have?

    • This is an opportunity to research a particular company and position. This exercise will provide the necessary job hunt experience, including examining a company/position, assessing fit, and customizing application material.

    ‌Applicants will need to submit the following as a single PDF document via email to Amanda Guinot Talbot, PhD, WLI Director, at   guinotam@msu.edu.

    1. Review the eligibility and criteria and confirm qualification

    2. Write a cover letter

      Best practices for the cover letter:

      • Use as an opportunity to provide more detail and expand on your resume
      • Express your interest in the position/opportunity presented
      • Express your fitness for the role/opportunity presented
      • Highlight your skills, experience, and achievements
      • Make sure that every paragraph has a purpose and advances the objective
      • Connect ideas from one paragraph to the next and provide examples to amplify your point
      • Proofread the document and have someone else read and review the document

       

    3. Update resume

      Best practices for the resume:

      • Make the document readable and relevant
      • Use the resume to convey your background and qualifications
      • Communicate your strengths and unique qualifications
      • Highlight your most relevant experience
      • Use keywords to highlight experience
      • Proofread the document and have someone else read and review the document
      • No more than one page

    The Michigan State University Career Services Network hosts many resume and cover letter resources. To review these resources, please visit 

    Write a Resume or Cover Letter – Career Services Network I Michigan State University


Ebert Family Leadership Scholarship Fund

The Scholarship is intended to encourage students who have demonstrated the capacity to achieve educational and professional goals, the motivation to achieve these goals and the initiative to seek opportunities to further their progress. Applications due March 15, 2024.

  • Up to $4,000 in scholarships awarded.
  • How To Apply

    Eligibility

    Undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Social Science with financial needs who have indicated an interest in a career in non-profit and/or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be eligible for this award.

    • Applicants must be currently enrolled at Michigan State University and able to receive scholarship distribution in the spring term (after the winners are announced and officially contacted).‌

    • Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be considered (e.g., missing or unmatched criteria).

    • Award recipients will be required to submit a letter of acceptance and thank you within two weeks of notification to receive the award. Letters should be addressed to Celia Ebert. The letters will be submitted to and delivered to the donors by Amanda Guinot Talbot, PhD, WLI Director at guinotam@msu.edu.

    • Depending on the amount and type of an applicants’ financial aid package, this scholarship may change the aid package. If selected as a scholarship recipient, it is the student’s responsibility to investigate whether the award will adversely affect their financial aid.

    How to Apply

    Applicants will be asked to write a short essay on the impact of women's leadership within the non-profit or NGO sector. Additionally, state how their specific life experience relates to their career goals, aspirations, and how one day they may pay it forward.


Women’s Leadership Institute Experiential Learning Fund

This fund is intended to support undergraduate students looking to engage in experiential learning opportunities including but not limited to study away/abroad, conference attendance, or internship. Applicants were asked to write a short essay on how they plan to utilize their experiential learning experience to research and/or gain a deeper knowledge of women leaders and/or leadership equity for women. Applications due March 15, 2024. There are two options for students to consider and apply for (see below)

  • General experiential learning fund - up to $5,000 in scholarships awarded
  • Larsen-Becker DC Study Away Award - up to $5,000 in scholarships awarded
  • How To Apply

    Eligibility

    Undergraduate students will be eligible for this award. Funds will be used for experiential learning opportunities including but not limited to study away/abroad, conference attendance, or internship.

    Applicants must be currently enrolled at Michigan State University and able to receive scholarship distribution in the spring term (after the winners are announced and officially contacted).

    • ‌Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be considered (e.g., missing or unmatched criteria).

    • ‌Award recipients will be required to submit a letter of acceptance and thank you within two weeks of notification to receive the award. Letters should be addressed to WLI Executive Board. The letters will be submitted to and delivered to the donors by Amanda Guinot Talbot, PhD, WLI Director at guinotam@msu.edu.

    • ‌Depending on the amount and type of an applicants’ financial aid package, this scholarship may change the aid package. If selected as a scholarship recipient, it is the student’s responsibility to investigate whether the award will adversely affect their financial aid.

    How to Apply

    Applicants will be asked to write a short essay on how they plan to utilize their experiential learning experience to research and/or gain a deeper knowledge of women leaders and/or leadership equity for women. In addition, students may be asked to submit their current resume, cover letter, and curriculum vitae. Preference given to students who are engaged with the Women’s Leadership Institute or future successor program. Students who receive this award must be enrolled at MSU and earning a minimum of one academic credit while participating in an internship or experiential learning opportunity.


Carolyn Jackson Legacy Award

Carolyn was a committed and passionate leader, mentor, and coach to many and an incredible Spartan. To honor her global legacy, each year, the WLI will award one student who exemplifies the commitment, passion, kindness, and giving spirit of CJ the Carolyn Jackson Legacy Award. Applications due March 15, 2024.

  • One (1) $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a rising leader with a documented commitment to giving back.
  • How To Apply

    THE LEADER

    The Carolyn Jackson Legacy Award honors the life of leadership exemplified by Carolyn (CJ) Jackson. CJ was a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) and an Emeritus Executive Board member. Early on, CJ believed in the institute's mission, had a vision of what the institute could be, and gave of herself to ensure its success. Enacting the vision took time and sacrifice, and CJ was central to that. The WLI would not be what it is today without Carolyn Jackson.

    Originally from Detroit, CJ earned two degrees at Michigan State, a Bachelor’s from James Madison College, and a Master’s from the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. With over 30 years of experience in executive leadership, CJ most recently served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, North America for the Coca-Cola Company. She is remembered fondly for her personal commitment and drive, both in life and in her career, as well as her dedication to helping others reach their own leadership potential through executive coaching.

    Carolyn impacted so many leaders, those close to her, and those who only learned of her legacy. No matter the connection everyone says of CJ she was always available and always giving. It is a pleasure for the WLI to honor the life and legacy of Carolyn Jackson.

    THE GOAL

    Carolyn was a committed and passionate leader, mentor, and coach to many and an incredible Spartan. To honor her global legacy, each year, the WLI will award one student who exemplifies the commitment, passion, kindness, and giving spirit of CJ the Carolyn Jackson Legacy Award.

    THE SPECIFICS

    • One (1) $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a rising leader with a documented commitment to giving back.

    • The award will be administered through the Women’s Leadership Institute each spring semester.

    THE CRITERIA

    • Applicants must be currently enrolled at Michigan State University and able to receive scholarship distribution in the spring term (after the winners are announced and officially contacted).

    • Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be considered (e.g., missing or un-matched criteria, essay submission less than 500 words in length).

    • Award recipients will be required to submit two letters of acceptance and thank you within two weeks of notification to receive the award. Letters should be addressed to 1) the family and friends of Carolyn Jackson and 2) the WLI Executive Board. The letters will be submitted to and delivered to the donors by Amanda Guinot Talbot, PhD at guinotam@msu.edu.

    • Depending on the amount and type of an applicant’s financial aid package, this scholarship may change the aid package. If selected as a scholarship recipient, it is the student’s responsibility to investigate whether the award will adversely affect their financial aid.

    THE REQUIREMENTS

    Submissions are due by 5:00 pm EST on March 15th. Scholarship applicants will be notified by 5:00 pm EST on or before March 29th.

    To submit, applicants will need to do the following:

    1. Review the eligibility and criteria and confirm qualification.

    2. Write a 500-word essay highlighting excellence in leadership and a commitment to giving back to others. The essay must be submitted as a Word doc or PDF and address the following prompts:

      1. Reflect on your leadership journey inside and outside of the classroom and highlight one instance where your leadership skills played a critical role. What did you do? How did your actions inspire others? What was the overall impact?

      2. Describe an instance (project, initiative) you have participated in that demonstrates your commitment to giving back. How did you identify the need and what steps did you take to address it? What were the lasting outcomes of your effort?

    POINT OF CONTACT

    Direct all inquiries to Dr. Amanda Guinot Talbot, the WLI Director at guinotam@msu.edu.

 


Scholarship Best Practices

Before Submitting 

Before you submit, thoroughly review the application, how you qualify, and the information and documents you will need to complete. 

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the terms/directions of the application. Do you know if and/or how you qualify? Can you complete the application and produce the required documents in the period provided?

Figure out when the application is due and work backward to create a timeline for completion. You will want to set a personal due date at least two to three days before the stated due date. This will allow time for editing and factor in time for submission errors due to technical problems.

Make sure you have plenty of time to complete, review, and apply on time.  Do you know the application due date? Do you have a plan for completion and submission?

 

Preparing the Submission 

Read and review the directions of the application submission process. It is your responsibility to understand the application's necessary components, complete it, and submit it.

When writing an essay or other content connected to the scholarship prompt, ensure that every paragraph has a purpose and advances the objective. In your submission, connect the ideas from one paragraph to the next and provide examples to amplify your point.

Draft all additional documents (e.g., personal statement, a summary of goals, a summary of research). Have you followed the directions outlined for these documents? Do you have ample time to edit? Have you had a third party read and review? Do these documents represent you as a professional?

Whether for a scholarship, job, or educational program, the application is your virtual introduction to the reviewers. As such, you must take the time to verify all of your information is accurate and complete. 

Double and triple-check your application for spelling and grammatical errors. Have you completed all fields? Are there any blank questions? Have you uploaded your revised documents (e.g., resume, personal statement)? 

 

When Awarded

All award recipients must acknowledge the hard work and generosity behind the scholarship/award.  This is not only a moment to thank the donor(s) but an opportunity to practice your professional writing skills.

Format all thank you letters professionally, remember you are writing as a professional, representing MSU, and most importantly, taking time to acknowledge the generosity of the donor(s). See general formatting tips below.

  • Double and triple-check the document for spelling and grammar errors. The final copy should be free from all errors.
  • Express your gratitude for the gift and enthusiasm for what the gift allows you to do or pursue.
  • Describe to the donor(s) who you are, what you are studying, and your future plans.
  • Sincerely reflect on what this gift means and how it helps your continued education.

 


Past Scholarship Winners

  • 2021 Future of Work and Leadership Scholarship

    Grand Prize Winner $1,500

    Megan Smejkal

    Political Science

     


     

    Honorable Mention $750

    Stephanie Segura-Guerrero

    Psychology

     


     

    Honorable Mention $500

    Alyssa Maturen

    Medical Neuroscience

     


     

    Honorable Mention $500

    Shewta Adsul

    Psychology

     


  • 2021 Empowering Stories Scholarship Winners

    Empowering Stories Scholarship Winners

    For this scholarship, students were asked to create a mock blog with an initial blog post that highlights an empowering story of leadership. This story could be something that they experienced on their leadership journey, something that they did to empower another female leader, or a story they have heard that provided strength and inspiration. The purpose behind the blog and this initial post is to empower women leaders.

    The winning submissions are listed below:

    Kate Harvey

    Political Science-Prelaw

    Kate Harvey WLI Blog

    Katie Denzin

    Actuarial Science

    Katie Denzin WLI Blog

    Kennedy Torain

    Economics

    Kennedy Torain WLI Blog
  • 2020 Pay Equity Scholarship Winners

    Grand Prize Winner $3,000

    Shweta Rajendra Adsul

    Psychology

     


     

    Honorable Mention $1,000

    Erykah Benson

    Intr Studies in Social Science

     


     

    Honorable Mention $1,000

    Alexandra Ruster

    Human Resources and Labor Relations

  • 2020 Photo Essay Scholarship Winners

    Students were asked to pick one key theme (equity and anti-oppression or health and wellness) and tell a story with at least six visuals.

    The winning submissions are listed below:

    Danielle McClain

    Political Science-Prelaw


    Alexandra Ballinger

    Psychology


    Madyson Quick

    Sociology

    VIEW ESSAY & VISUALS


    Natalie Kagole

    Psychology

    VIEW ESSAY & VISUALS

  • 2020 Equity Scholarship Winners

    Equity Scholarship Winners

    The equity scholarship asked students to submit mock social media campaigns to raise awareness of racism and inequality and promote equity for women and their allies. The submissions were thoughtful, creative, and impactful ideas that ranged from community book readings, video journals, garden walks, educational programs for all ages and many more. 

    The winning submissions are listed below:

    Erykah Benson

    Intr Studies in Social Science

    #ACTIVEALLYSHIP

    Erykah Benson Submission

    Adison Hohwart

    Marketing

    Women’s ‘Root out Racism’ Community Garden Event

    Adison Hohwart

    Audriyana Jaber

    Lyman Briggs

    A Day in My Skin

    Audriyana Jaber

    Elizabeth Tanner

    Arts and Humanities

    Workplace Equity for BIPOC Women

    Elizabeth Tanner
  • 2020 Emerging Leaders Scholarship Winners

    Grand Prize Winner $1,200

    Brittany Newfer

    Human Development and Family Studies

     


     

    Second Place $700

    Gifty Owusu-Tawiah

    Political Science and International Development

     


     

    Honorable Mention $500

    Danielle McClain

    Political Science

     


     

    Honorable Mention $500

    Elisha Smith

    Human Development and Family Studies

     

  • 2019 Emerging Leaders Scholarship Winners

    2019 Scholarship Winners

    See the winning submissions from the 2019 Scholarship contest.

    2019 WINNERS