News from The Sunflower Initiative

December 2020

Ten Reasons to Give

As The Sunflower Initiative closes out 2020, we are ever mindful of the reason TSI exists.  The achievements of our Harriet Fitzgerald Scholars attest to the value of what you, our donors, have made possible.   All of our Scholars have a clearer understanding of what it means to be a woman in today’s world; they have gained strength, determination and allies from their college experience, and, to a one, they are grateful for the assistance TSI has provided.    Thank you for your support, and please, read on.

Five Who Have Moved On

1. Aastha Sharma, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA, ’16.
Our first Harriet Fitzgerald Scholar and summa cum laude graduate is in a PhD program in Materials Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, studying the fundamental processes that occur when materials convert solar energy to electricity.
2. Chelsea Osademe, Spelman College ’17.
Chelsea received an M.A. in English with an emphasis in Cultural Studies at Kansas State University. The K-State Black Student Union recognized her as the “Graduate of the Year.” She has just completed her first semester (remotely) at the University of Minnesota in the American Studies PhD program on a Creating Inclusive Cohorts Fellowship.
3. Marley Forest, Wellesley College ’18.
 A Madeleine Albright Institute Fellow, and the senior class commencement speaker, Marley returned to Bend, OR, where she served as campaign manager for the first woman elected mayor. She is now on the staff of Senator Jeff Merkley in Portland.
4. Emily Moss, Wellesley College ’19.
Emily decided to delay her Truman Scholarship awarded as a senior until she can attend graduate school in person. She continues to work for The Hamilton Project as a research assistant studying domestic economic policy in the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution.
5. Ilse Meiler, Smith College ’20.  
Ilse graduated in the first ever Smith virtual commencement in May.  When her Peace Corps post to Kyrgyzstan was delayed until mid-2021, Ilse returned home to Utah, enrolled in a TESOL certificate program (teaching of English for speakers of other languages) at the University of Utah, began translating podcast transcripts for a Swiss journalist, and started work at a microbiology lab where she tests personal protective equipment.  She has reapplied for a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Russia.

Four Who Are Coping With Covid

6. Maggie Micklo, Mount Holyoke College ’21.
This time of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered Maggie’s senior year.  With only half of Mt Holyoke students back on campus, all seniors and juniors live off-campus and take all classes remotely. Maggie has rented an apartment nearby so that she can access library materials and work with her academic advisor on her senior thesis.
7. Ariana Carranza, Barnard College ’22.
Although Ariana’s year has been disrupted by the virus and classes are all remote, Barnard helped Ariana find off-campus housing so she could remain in NYC.  With weekly testing and screening, she is able go into her research lab every week. Juniors and Seniors may be able to return to campus in the spring with appropriate Covid-19 guidelines.
8. Thu-Yến Nguyen, Bryn Mawr ’23.  
Using the energy and ingenuity the TSI board observed at our fall 2019 retreat, Yến has made the best of an unusual year. Yến returned to her Vietnamese home when Bryn Mawr closed its campus in the spring and now is taking her remote classes in the middle of the night!  Yến worked with four friends to develop and launch App Gao that allows users to buy rice from reliable suppliers to send to trustworthy charities in Vietnam.  They were able to deliver over 3000 kg. of rice to over 3000 individuals affected by Covid-19!
9. Alena Rooney, Smith College ’25.  
When Smith announced plans to go fully remote for 2020-21, Alena asked if she could defer “since I so dearly want to be on campus.” Fortunately, our Fitzgerald Scholars have the option of deferring enrollment until they can fully participate in a women’s college education.  Alena is currently an intern conducting policy research for the advancement of reproductive health and justice in Illinois.

And One Waiting for the Chance

10. The 2021 Harriet Fitzgerald Scholar

Thanks to your support, TSI’s Scholarship Committee is currently accepting applicants who are eager to experience the enduring value of a women’s college and the possibilities these colleges hold for women around the world.
Donate to TSI today!

Please consider a year-end contribution so that TSI may continue to support women as outstanding as the first nine.  To donate, just click the donation button above, or send your check to our mailing address below.