Thursday, June 2, 2011

Whitworth psychology major awarded full-tuition scholarship from Woodrow Foundation

Working mother will finish degree thanks to scholarship

Whitworth senior Jessie Hodet didn't know if she would be able to return to school in the fall. A working mother to two special needs children, Hodet had returned to college after a nearly 10 year hiatus to finish her degree and make a better life for her family. But increasing financial pressures were threatening to delay those plans once again. Now Hodet will be able to graduate next spring after all, thanks to a $32,240 scholarship from the Woodrow Foundation. The scholarship covers tuition and books for the 2011-12 academic year.

"Receiving this scholarship is an incredible honor and validation of my work, and it will allow me to finish my degree at Whitworth," Hodet says. "Getting my education and doing something meaningful with it is setting a great example for my children and an important precedent for our family. I am so thankful for the support I've received from my family and from Whitworth, and hopefully I can use this scholarship to encourage others who have struggled to get into and stay in college."

Hodet, who is originally from El Paso, Texas, is majoring in psychology while also running a Spanish-English language school and taking care of her two children. After she graduates from Whitworth next spring, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cross-cultural psychology. She says she's interested in helping other mental health professionals gain a better understanding of cultural differences and how those differences can affect how patients, particularly children, are diagnosed and treated.

Hodet ran daycares and served as a foster parent when she lived in Texas, so she's also interested in bringing another foster care agency to Spokane to provide more homes and opportunities for foster children in the community. Ultimately, her long-term career aspirations involve returning to Whitworth as a professor, because "that’s where my heart lies—in the advocacy and education of others," she says.

During her time at Whitworth, Hodet has served as president of the Latin-American Club, as secretary of Psi Chi, and as a Spanish lab leader. She also is president of the university's first chapter of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, which will charter in September.

"I've met few students who have the drive, the work ethic, and the determination to succeed like Jessie," stated Whitworth Professor of Theology Roger Mohrlang in a letter of recommendation. "Of all the thousands of students I have taught in my years at Whitworth, there is no one that I would recommend more highly for the Woodrow Foundation Scholarship than Jessie Hodet."

The Woodrow Foundation Scholarship is awarded each academic year to one student at Whitworth University. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a 3.75 or higher GPA, demonstrated leadership skills, and high financial need. Applications are reviewed by a university committee that selects five finalists. The final selection is made by US Bank, which serves as the trustee for the Leon Woodrow estate.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Nancy Morlock, assistant director/scholarship coordinator of financial aid, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4378 or nmorlock@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.