Kiwanis Club rewards student excellence

Vicki Baker

The Kiwanis Club Robson Ranch was thrilled to announce the three recipients of its 2018 Foundation Scholarships. Since 2009, 21 TWU college students have been awarded scholarships totaling $18,000. This year there were 90 candidates for consideration. In addition to club members Catherine Jenkins and Ralph Bunker, the Executive Director of Student Development at Texas Women’s University (Kyle Voyles) offered his support and cooperation in vetting and selecting the winners from the eligible university students.

Sushmitha Ananth enrolled in TWU in 2015 as a transfer student from India pursuing a degree in biology with research emphasis and minor in chemistry placing her a step closer to a career in public health and epidemiology. Upon graduation from TWU, Sushmitha will enter the master’s program in public health at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas.

Active in many TWU organizations as a member and volunteer and in leadership positions at the university, Sushmitha co-founded the first international mentoring program helping incoming students become accustomed to U.S. college culture. She has been recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and as Outstanding Student Leader of the Year and serves as a biology research assistant in the undergraduate pain neurosurgery laboratory.

Megan Gross is an honors student currently in her senior year at TWU. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in child development, she’ll earn her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Her career focus is occupational therapy specializing in work with children and adolescents. She has also taken course work in American sign language, nutrition, physical therapy, social services and communication sciences. Megan completed research studies involving children with special needs and the effect on families and on adolescents with autism and the effect on their future adulthood.

Megan serves as a volunteer teaching assistant in the university’s Office of Honors Programs, intern at Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, water safety instructor to preschoolers with congenital heart disease and vice president of Golden Key International Honors Society. She is a member of the Family Science Association, Student OT Association, and wind symphony and mentors incoming freshmen. Megan volunteers at Our Daily Bread, Denton Animal Shelter, Denton Parks and Recreation and participated in community projects assisting Hurricane Harvey victims.

The third scholarship recipient, Stephanie Schroeder is pursuing a Master’s of Occupational Therapy with a focus on pediatrics. She has volunteered with international missions and lived at a Guatemalan orphanage providing therapeutic activity and exercise to special needs and developmentally delayed children due to malnourishment or abuse and to young girls tragically burned in another orphanage. She has interned at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

In the history of the world, change often starts with young people who look at the world through fresh eyes. Today’s youth are our future world leaders. Congratulations Sushmitha Ananth, Megan Gross and Stephanie Schroeder; you are our future!