MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Three nontraditional MTSU students have received a boost in their educational careers from the June S. Anderson Foundation.
The organization awarded full-tuition scholarships to AnToinette Jefferson, Shaina Massey and Samantha Sweat at a May 9 luncheon in Murfreesboro. The June S. Anderson Foundation awards full-tuition scholarships to full-time MTSU undergraduate women age 23 or older who are preparing for careers in nontraditional fields for women. Each applicant must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, must not be paying out-of-state tuition and must demonstrate financial need.
Jefferson, a 23-year-old Memphis, Tennessee, native, said she was undecided about her college major until a relative who had taken classes in the MTSU Department of Aerospace told her about its programs. To satisfy her curiosity, she approached the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, a nonprofit industry group.
“They took us on different tours, like to FedEx and UPS,” Jefferson said. “We got a chance to fly and to (try out) the different simulators, and I kind of liked it. So I decided to pursue a major in it.”
The rising senior said she is concentrating on air traffic control as a career, but she said she also would like to become a commercial airline pilot later.
Twenty-nine-year-old Shaina Massey is a dental assistant and the single mother of a 6-year-old son. The rising senior from Smyrna, Tennessee, has been a dental assistant for several years. She majors in health care administration with a minor in accounting.
“Right now, I work chairside with the doctor, but I’m trained upfront as well,” Massey said. “I’ve gotten to know some of the insurance stuff.”
Massey said she is leaning toward insurance industry management for a career choice, combining the skills of her major and her minor.
“I decided to go back to school to finish my degree in January 2017, and paying for school is hard,” Massey said. “So receiving this scholarship has been a big relief to me.”
Samantha Sweat, a 23-year-old accounting major from Henderson, Tennessee, said she initially chose accounting because it was “so factual.” She found out there were more grey areas in the profession than she realized, but she said she loves the challenge. Sweat became emotional as she expressed her gratitude.
“It gives me inspiration to keep pushing forward and achieving high grades and looking on to the finished goal,” Sweat said.
While Sweat welcomes her scholarship, she said she will continue with her job as a customer service representative for a local bank.
MTSU chemistry professor June S. Anderson established the foundation that bears her name in 1982. Anderson, who died in 1984, also established the forerunner of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Women’s Studies Program, which now is the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Women in Higher Education in Tennessee.