AAUW awards annual Re-Entry Scholarships

AAUW AWARDEES Below, Mickelle Ammer. Above, Ashley Dickinson, Sarah Leidinger and Julia Bartley. Submitted photos

AAUW AWARDEES Below, Mickelle Ammer. Above, Ashley Dickinson, Sarah Leidinger and Julia Bartley. Submitted photos

HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt County branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently awarded its annual Re-Entry Scholarships focused on supporting Cal Poly upper division and graduate level re-entry women students. The “re-entry” eligibility requires applicants to have had a minimum five-year interruption in their college/university educational experience.

Four scholarships were awarded ranging from $1,000 or $2,000. Congratulations to these very talented CPH students.

Mickelle Ammer: Mickelle is enrolled in Cal Poly Humboldt’s new RN-to-BSN program. Upon graduating from the Associate Degree in Nursing program at College of the Redwoods in 2014, she began working at Providence St. Joseph Hospital. She has continued working, now part-time, facing challenges and medical debt from a serious medical condition, and managing care for her two small children. The Selection Committee was impressed by her critical thinking about the changes she wants to see in healthcare and her goal of becoming a nurse educator, but especially found her resilience to be inspirational.



Julia Bartley: Julia is working on her Master of Science degree in Natural Resources with an emphasis on Forest Ecology. Her thesis is in the very important arena of using prescribed fire (controlled burns) as a land management tool. She already has an excellent base in this field, having worked for eight years following her undergraduate studies at land management agencies and organizations including The Nature Conservancy. Her experiences as frequently one of the few, if only, women on largely male-dominated wildland firefighting crews, have sparked a strong desire to serve as a mentor to help traditionally under-represented students succeed in careers in natural resources.

Ashley Dickinson: Working in the field of rare plant conservation, eleven year Humboldt County resident Ashley Dickinson is strongly committed to promoting biodiversity and understanding of how to protect threatened plants. A Master’s Degree candidate in Natural Resources, her current research is focused on understanding the risk of extinction of a rare plant, the two-flowered pea, found only in Humboldt County. She has shown great dedication to her work, persisting through incredible logistical challenges and difficulties, disrupting important seasonal study times and plant access. Her community commitment includes volunteer work with the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Sarah Leidinger: Sarah is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Geology. She currently has a very ambitious course schedule while also working part-time job as a GIS Analyst with an environmental consulting company. The Selection Committee was impressed with how articulate Sarah was, how well she explained complex concepts and talked about her work mentoring students studying GIS. Sarah is also very focused on her long-term goal of becoming a licensed Professional Geologist, a long process that will take many years following completion of her Master’s Degree.

The AAUW’s mission is to advance gender equity through research, education, and advocacy. The Humboldt Branch provides these scholarships, offers other educational and leadership opportunities for local girls, and hosts various interest groups and monthly meetings to promote community engagement. For more information, visit humboldtca.aauw.net.

The Importance of Re-Entry Scholarships: AAUW-Humboldt has focused on giving scholarships to women returning to school after a long break in recognition of the value that a degree can bring, but how hard it can be when family, finances, and other barriers come along. As one of our applicants wrote, the scholarships are “a great reminder that there is no straight line to our educational journey and to recognize the beauty in diverse experiences.”