Augusta University Faculty Club announces 2020-21 scholarship recipients

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The Augusta University Faculty Club has awarded five $2,000 scholarships to students from each of the university’s health sciences colleges. Exceptional applicants are chosen based on three criteria: financial need, academic promise, and service to others.

Isaiah K. Casey, from the College of Nursing, shared what this scholarship will do for him.

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Isaiah K. Casey

“This scholarship will help me pay back some of the student loans I’ve accumulated throughout the course of my college education and ultimately get me closer to my main goal of becoming a CRNA,” he said.

“This summer I completed a nurse externship on 4W, a medical-surgical unit at Augusta University Medical Center, and I was able to transition into a patient care intern position that I will continue to work throughout my senior year. My goal is to land a job in the ICU after graduation. Next, I would like to pursue a seat in a CRNA program.”

Veena Girija Ganapathy, from the Medical College of Georgia, also shared about her career ambitions.

“When I was admitted to the Medical College of Georgia, I was ecstatic to embark on a journey of service and patient care I had strived toward for so long, but I could never have imagined the turn my life would take,” she said.

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Veena Girija Ganapathy

“Within the first few months of starting, I learned that my mother had been diagnosed with Stage 4 uterine cancer. She bravely battled for five months, succumbing in March 2019. This life-changing experience opened my eyes to a world of suffering, the financial burden that many families face in the wake of long-term health care, and the role of physicians to listen to and serve our patients with humility,” she said.

“I plan to use my scholarship to further my education and experience toward becoming a well-rounded physician who can embrace those various roles and aspects of medicine that have hit so close to home.”

Tamara Shea Price, from the College of Allied Health Sciences, is optimistic about her remaining time at the university.

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Tamara Shea Price

“I am currently a second-year physical therapy student and am enjoying every minute of PT school. I have learned so much and come so far in my first year on campus. I am hopeful that everything I am learning here at AU turns me into the best physical therapist and that I will be able to have a meaningful impact on my future patients. It is because of scholarships like this that help make this possible!”

Jessie Yuan, from The Dental College of Georgia, shares how deeply this scholarship award affects her.

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Jessie Yuan

“I am a senior here and plan to graduate next May. It is my hope to enter a periodontics residency after graduating DCG or working somewhere in Georgia in a dental practice,” she said. “This fund will help me relieve the financial burden of attending school and enable me to focus on my studies, especially since I’ve especially recently been so worried about my finances. I’m the only child and my dad passed away during my time in dental school, so it’s just been my mom and me.”

Yuan has been inspired to assist students with scholarships in the future.

“Knowing that there are people who care about my education as much as I do really inspires me to do my best in school and when I treat my patients. I also hope to be a scholarship donor one day because I fully appreciate the difference it has made in my life,” Yuan said.

Yanyan Xu, from The Graduate School, felt encouraged to continue her research after being awarded this scholarship.

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Yanyan Xu

“I am in the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program with a genomic medicine major. This award particularly gives me an amazing feeling of getting awarded for the efforts that I put in and I hope to continually engage myself in the fields of unlocking the complexities of bioscience and advancing the knowledge to improve human health,” she said.

Like many other activities this year, it was a first-time virtual experience for the Faculty Club Scholarship Committee. The shift to a virtual selection process was a challenging but heartening experience to award five students at a time when financial hardships are intensified in the face of COVID-19.

Faculty Club members have raised money for scholarships through fundraising events, donation campaigns and memorial gifts for over four decades. Their efforts have paved the way for many outstanding students to pursue and to continue pursuing careers in health care.

This year’s scholarship committee co-chairs, Carol Giardina and Josette Kubicki, worked with club members Dr. Susan Murray, Dr. Veerinder Pannu, Dr. Rhucha Samudra and Fay Verburg to select the scholarship awardees. Kubicki was responsible for converting the 2020 scholarship review to a completely virtual process.

Due to COVID-19, fundraising events for scholarships will most likely be limited this year, but the Faculty Club welcomes donations any time throughout the year. If you wish to contribute any amount for 2020-21 scholarships, please email the Faculty Club.

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Written by
Raysean Ricks

Raysean Ricks is a writer for Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 or email him at

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Written by Raysean Ricks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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