Your Impact

Our generous family of donors is passionate about education and giving back. By funding scholarships, you’re making all the difference for someone who might not otherwise have access to a USF education. By contributing to capital campaigns, you’re building an innovative learning environment that provides the tools students need to succeed.

Katie Zanoni

Katie Zanoni at the USF School of EducationProgram: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2018

Hometown: 
San Diego, CA

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

As a mother of two young children commuting to San Francisco from San Diego for school, this scholarship assisted me in paying for the additional childcare costs that are required while I am attending classes. I was drawn to the School of Education at USF because of the unique focus on human rights education that is offered in the IME department. However, traveling every other weekend for the last three years has been a challenge that this scholarship has helped to address through the financial support it has offered to our family.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

I believe the USF community has had a far greater impact on me over the years to broaden my perspectives, support my academic and career goals, and instill a stronger passion within me to continue my vision where peace and human rights educators are the norm and not the exception. If I were to have an impact on the USF community, it would be to highlight the inspirational work that all of my colleagues are doing both in California and on an international level.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

As a peace and human rights educator, my dream is to open spaces in formal and informal settings for members of civil society to foster a critical consciousness and act as peace builders and social justice advocates. I recently started a new position to coordinate the Women PeaceMakers program at the Institute for Peace and Justice at the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. As a Lecturer at the University of San Diego in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences I am invigorated with hope that through programs like this one, we can raise awareness and build networks to support women on the frontlines building sustainable peace in conflict-affected settings.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

Perhaps our paths will never cross as we go about our respective lives. However, I believe that we share a commonality in truly believing that our world can change, little by little, through small acts of kindness. My eyes, hearts, and hands channel this spirit of transformation that I hope to model for my children and others who will usher us through to the future. Thank you for your generosity and belief in a stranger. If only we all had the same opportunity to realize our potential– what a phenomenal world we would manifest.

Amy Argenal

Amy ArgenalProgram: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2016

Hometown: 
San Francisco, CA

Scholarship Recipient

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

I am the first in my family to go to college and have worked through both Masters and Doctorate degrees. It was a challenge to find the funds to pay for the degree. I could not afford to take out any loans and did not have any extra income to pay the tuition. Having the opportunity to apply for scholarships made a huge difference in the number of units I could take and the extra time I needed to finish my dissertation.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

I am an educator and am very excited to be able to continue to work with youth in the Bay Area. The program in International and Multicultural Education offers a unique and much needed perspective towards education. We are trained to be compassionate and active community members walking alongside our students and I am excited to continue to do this work.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

I would like to enter into a teaching position at a Community College or CSU. I want to work with first time college students to offer the support and teaching that might not always be there. The Ed.D will further prepare me to do this important work. I was very lucky to have excellent mentors in the faculty of the IME department to work on publishing articles, presenting at conferences and engaging in research. All of these experiences will provide the necessary qualifications to enter into a career in higher education.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

Thank you for your financial support. It is very important to have a community behind you and having the ability to apply for scholarships really opens up access for those of us from communities not traditionally represented in graduate schools. The expense of graduate education today is a huge barrier for many to continue their studies. I feel honored to have received this support.

Stacey Ault

Stacey AultMajor: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2017

Hometown: 
Ipswich, UK

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

As a single mother of six, I have often found myself to be the community Amayi (“mother” in Chichewa, the East African Bantu language of my ancestors). For the past year I have been Amayi for two additional teenagers, bringing the total number of high school seniors in my house to four. Of course this has had a fiscal impact on my family. This, along with my own tuition expenses, and those of my 19 year old, has meant everyone in the family has had to sacrifice. This scholarship allowed us a small financial cushion.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

As a returning student and a mother, scholar, healer, and activist, I hope to leave USF with a better understanding of the experiences of Black students, and a glimpse into our trauma and growth, both individually in community, and within the educational system itself. This experience has evolved into my dissertation: “Queens Speak: Exploring critical post traumatic growth among Black female students in the school-to-prison pipeline.” I hope I leave USF with a fresh understanding of what it means to be an Engaged Scholar and a model of how to truly engage with young people, communities and the academy while staying true to your authentic self.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

I have worked within institutions for over 20 years. After graduation I hope to teach, and conduct research at the University level, engaging with and mentoring future teachers, social workers and practitioners. I also hope to use my voice in spaces I may not have had access to in the past, remembering that my voice is enhanced and strengthened by the young people and women I partner with. My start-up nonprofit, the Race and Gender Equity Project, was born at USF and will serve to impact the community by fighting poverty, trauma and racial inequity.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

USF provides educational opportunity to students of diverse background and needs. Many of us battle with staying focused in school while “life” gets in the way. This scholarship has impacted not only my children and I but also the community I work with, and the young people have been privileged enough to mother along the way. Not having to worry about financial needs allows me to be much more focused in my studies and be more present in other areas of my life. Zicomo – Thank you!

Jessica Blundell

Jessica Blundell at graduation with her daughterMajor: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2016

Hometown: 
San Francisco, CA

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

When I graduate in 2016, I had been in school for my daughter’s entire life! There were many times when the commitment I made to school competed with the commitment I made to motherhood. In particular, the financial commitment to a doctoral degree was challenging for me, as a head of household and public school teacher, to sustain. It felt like an enormous gamble to pour time and money into a doctoral degree and my hope was that the relatively short-term sacrifices would justify the long-term rewards. However as I neared the end of my degree program, the financial burden became prohibitive. I had to choose between paying for non-negotiables such as rent and food, and or paying for school. Thinking back to that pivotal moment, I am filled with gratitude for the generosity of those who donated to my scholarship fund. This scholarship funded my final semesters at USF; without it, I would not have completed my degree.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

Since graduating from the IME doctoral program, I have had the privilege to teach as adjunct faculty here at USF. In addition to working as a writing coach, for international students and students in the final stages of their doctoral dissertation or masters thesis/field project, I teach Skills for Scholarly Writing, and Methods of Educational Research. In all three, I hope to have a positive impact on the academic writing of students here at USF. In particular I hope that I am able to marry my practice as a K-12 literacy specialist with my knowledge of academic writing in higher education, in order to support academic language acquisition among my students - many of whom are language learners and/or the first in their families to pursue graduate studies.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

For some time, a dream of mine has been to bridge the worlds of K-12 public education and higher education. As a member of both communities I am interested in fostering reciprocity between the focus on pedagogy in K-12 public education, and the focus on content knowledge production in higher education. For example, as a K-12 literacy specialist, I have been able to develop a skill set for teaching writing. My USF education now affords me the opportunity to bring this skill set to bear on the education of graduate students. This feels particularly important because my students, a reflection of the Ignatian commitment to fostering diversity in perspective and experience, come with a wide range of K-12 writing experience. Having the opportunity to develop the pedagogical content knowledge to teach academic writing, in form and content, is a privilege granted to me by my doctoral studies. Teaching at USF allows me to extend this privilege to my students, which I hope contributes to the diversity of perspectives, experiences, and traditions found more generally in higher education.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

USF offers one of the only doctoral programs for educators committed to projects of equity. Despite this, the cost of tuition at USF would have been prohibitive for me, were it not for the generosity of scholarship donors. I would like the donors of my scholarship to know that I am deeply grateful for their financial support, and that my life – as a teacher, scholar, and mother – is exponentially better for their generosity.

Kelly Delaney

Kelly DelaneyProgram: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2016

Hometown: 
San Bruno, CA

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

As I was beginning the final year of my doctoral program, I was informed that I had reached the lifetime limit on federal financial aid. I am a middle school teacher in a public school and I don’t make very much money. I was very concerned that I might not be able to continue to pay for my final classes and complete my dissertation. This scholarship enabled me to continue my research and complete my doctoral program, and I am very happy to say that I will be graduating this spring.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

I plan to continue teaching at a public middle school while also working with new teachers in the teacher education program at Notre Dame de Namur University. In my work at NDNU, I have developed a partnership with a local non-profit, Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS), led by founder and fellow USF student Belinda Arriaga. ALAS is a social justice, cultural arts and education program for rural Latinos. In our partnership, my teacher education students work one-on-one with ALAS students who improve their literacy skills while NDNU students improve their teaching practice. I will also be working with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) as a member of the Human Rights Education Community there and will be working with other members to plan the upcoming national conference in San Francisco in 2017.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

Much of my research involves Islamophobia in K-12 education. My doctorate in International and Multicultural Education with a Human Rights Emphasis has prepared me to better support students and work towards more inclusive pedagogy and curriculum. I look forward to continuing to work with students to ensure that all of them are able to practice their faith in dignity. My hope is that one day soon, we are able to live up to the promise of America, and provide equitable education for all students.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

Thank you so much for supporting students like me at USF. Education is so important and my professors in IME are so amazing, they teach us that anything is possible. And with your help, lots of students like me are able to complete their studies. Thank you again for your generous support.

Ming-Kuo Hung

Ming-Kuo HungProgram: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2012

Hometown: 
Taipei, Taiwan

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

Thank you, sponsors of the USF scholarship. Because of your generous support, I can continue my research without much financial stress. My family is not quite affluent in Taiwan. Without scholarships, I have no chance to study at USF. My previous scholarship from the Taiwanese government came to an end in the summer of 2015. That means I would need a loan to continue my studies. Fortunately, I received the USF Scholarship at that time. The scholarship really helped me in my time of need. When I share the good news of the scholarship, my family shared the pleasure and honor with me.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

My research is about teaching the US Civil Rights Movement to Taiwanese high school students. I hope the research outcomes can benefit the USF community to understand a cross-cultural education, as well as to appreciate the diversity of ethnicities and cultures in San Francisco. Furthermore, I want my research to act as a bridge for the USF community and the Taiwanese educational community.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

My dream career is to be an educator in a Taiwanese higher education institution. The degree of the USF will be appreciated in the Taiwanese educational community. Studying in the IME Department also helps me to be aware of the blindness in Taiwanese education system. The different perspectives and visions I learned. My research is about teaching the US Civil Rights Movement to Taiwanese high school students. I hope the research outcomes can benefit the USF community to understand a cross-cultural education, as well as to appreciate the diversity of ethnicities and cultures in San Francisco. Furthermore, I want my research to act as a bridge for the USF community and the Taiwanese educational community.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

I am now continuing my research in Taichung, Taiwan. The projector is old and the images it shows are blurred. That really cuts down the students’ understanding when I show the pictures and videos of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to them. This reminds me about the importance of facilities and resource for quality education. Thank you for your generosity, which lets the students overseas receive a unique course, and my research can be smoothly launched in Taiwan.

Garrett Naiman

Garrett NaimanProgram: International and Multicultural Education

Class Year:
 2016

Hometown: 
Oakland, CA

Describe a challenge that this scholarship has helped your family overcome?

There are a lot of pressures that come with completing a doctoral degree. The final stretch is, in many ways, the most challenging leg of the journey. Balancing school with work and my personal life is often difficult. Receiving financial support during this time goes a long way to alleviating some of that stress, freeing me up to focus on my dissertation and submitting my best work.

What kind of impact are you hoping to leave here at USF and/or the San Francisco Community?

I hope that I will have helped strengthen the campus community by being a passionate and engaged member of my program (IME) and the School of Education (SOE). I have built relationships with faculty and fellow students that will last long after I have graduated. I also hope to use my research as a platform for educating and engaging others in the San Francisco Bay Area community about related issues. I am proud to have been part of USF’s SOE and IME specifically. And I look forward to watching the program and the school grow and continue to be a location for social justice.

What are your dreams after graduation and how is your USF education helping you get there?

I hope to expand upon my research about racial justice activism, perhaps researching my topic further and looking for different ways to apply it to my work. I serve as an educational administrator in my life outside of USF. I would like to also teach, perhaps as adjunct faculty at one or more institutions in the Bay Area. I am also looking forward to reading for pleasure and relaxing without the pressure of writing deadlines hanging over me.

What would you like to say to the donors of your scholarship?

Thank you for your generous gift. It really did go a long way towards alleviating some of the stress that comes with trying to complete the dissertation and doctoral process. It means a lot to me that you have chosen to contribute the schooling of students who are trying to use education as a platform for further positive social change. So thank you again for this scholarship opportunity.

48%

School of Education students identify as first-generation college students