First Coca-Cola scholars cohort announced

KENNESAW, Ga. | Sep 21, 2018

Scholarships will support first-generation students at Kennesaw State

Thirty-five Kennesaw State University students have been selected as the first cohort of the Coca-Cola First Generation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars program, which commences during the fall semester.

The program, made possible by a $1.25 million donation from The Coca-Cola Foundation, will provide scholarships and wraparound services to students who identify as first generation – those who are first in their immediate families to seek college degrees. The scholars – 21 first-generation and 14 first-generation, underrepresented STEM students – were selected based on financial need, grade point average, academic major, community service and a scholarship essay. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 award, which will be coupled with the HOPE Scholarship annually to cover all costs associated with tuition, fees and books.

“At KSU, we are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment where all students can thrive, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is truly an extension of those efforts,” said President Pamela S. Whitten. “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to The Coca-Cola Foundation for making this program a reality. We are so proud of what these students have already accomplished and look forward to watching them soar as Owls.”

Coca-Cola Scholars

The scholars, incoming freshmen with a 3.55 cumulative high school GPA, represent ten of Kennesaw State’s 13 colleges and span 21 different degree programs. The student scholars are:

Kathia Acosta, Austell, Ga.
Jamie Lowe, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Raul Alcantara, Roswell, Ga.
Hannah Martin, Marietta, Ga.
Mariela Guadalupe Alvaraez, Marietta, Ga.
Megan Martin, Gainesville, Ga.
Lordy-Skaina Monica Brisson, Woodstock, Ga.
Keoni McKeever, East Point, Ga.
Adah-Lashay Dawson, Atlanta
Lupita Guadalupe Medina, Woodstock, Ga.
Kaheem Rashaun Fallen, Augusta, Ga.
Auburn Elizabeth Merritt, Dallas, Ga.
Kensley Fisher, Rocky Face, Ga.
Johana Figueroa Morales, Marietta, Ga.
Sabino Galvan, Smyrna, Ga.
Tierra Lee Morrow, Warner Robins, Ga.
Mikayla Greer, Braselton, Ga.
Karan Munday, Norcross, Ga.
Jalen Goodwin, West Kingsland, Ga.
Tracy Michael Nelson Jr., Waycross, Ga.
Cristobal Gonzalez, Sugar Hill, Ga.
Kamille Suarez-Paulino, Acworth, Ga.
Tiondra Rose Grant, Columbus, Ga.
Brandon Rivera, Acworth, Ga.
Kaylon Leonard Harris, Fayetteville, Ga.
Lily Raine Scott, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Joseph Jenkins III, Fayetteville, Ga.
Michael Tinoco, Cartersville, Ga.
Emily Johnston, Dallas, Ga.
Ngan Thanh Tran, Gainesville, Ga.
Elizabeth Adaline Lane, Warner Robins, Ga.
Kelci Danielle Walker, Augusta, Ga.
Taofik Lawal, Smyrna, Ga.
Charlee Dominque Cyair Warren, Cumming, Ga.
Bradley Letchford, Douglasville, Ga.

In addition to scholarships, the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program grant supports one-stop academic and social support designed to meet the needs of the students in the target populations. Support will come in the form of graduation coaches, mentoring receptions and a series of workshops during the course of the four-year program. Kennesaw State’s Val Whittlesey, associate vice president for curriculum; Jennifer A. Wade-Berg, associate professor of human services; and Ruth Goldfine, interim associate dean of the University College; will lead the program.

– Travis Highfield

Photos by Lauren Kress

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit