KENNESAW, Ga. | May 27, 2021
Two parents grieving the unexpected loss of their daughter during her sophomore year at Kennesaw State University have partnered with the KSU Foundation to create the Amyah K. Dowdy Memorial Scholarship to honor her memory.
Sean Dowdy and PaTrice Wapples established a $75,000 endowment that will provide financial assistance to students in the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences. KSU students who are studying interactive design, which had been Amyah’s major, and/or political science, another of her many passions, are eligible to apply.
“Amyah didn’t want the world to change her; she wanted to change the world,” Wapples said. “To see others carry on that goal and that dream would be fulfilling to us. We know that many young adults want to see a change in the world, and that is what Amyah truly desired.”
At just 20 years old, Amyah had plans for how the next decade of her life would unfold. The vision board that hung in her room at KSU showcased just how big her plans were.
“She kept a bucket list of things she wanted to do while she was in her 20s. I found it in her things after she passed,” Amyah’s mother remembered. “She wanted to get her pilot’s license and travel the world, live abroad and achieve balance.”
Amyah’s parents fondly remember their daughter’s adventurous spirit, tenacious outlook and kind heart. They said Amyah was a light in this world that shone brighter than most. As a student studying user interface/user experience design, Amyah threw herself into her studies, showcasing her talent in her chosen field. During her time at KSU, Amyah was employed as a student assistant in the interactive design department, offering aid to faculty and staff.
“She was excited about the field and being at KSU,” recalled Donna McPherson, program coordinator for the department and one of Amyah’s supervisors. “She was interested in learning about the university and interactive design. When we interviewed her, we hit it off, and she excelled in the position. She was a student that everyone related to.”
Amyah’s dedication to her field and work shone through all of her endeavors, and she was revered among the department for her commitment. Department Chair Laura Palmer reminisced about Amyah’s outstanding work ethic, “I miss her willingness to figure things out and to work. She was independent and determined and wasn’t afraid to try a new challenge.”
Those who knew Amyah could not help but remember her kind heart and love for others.
“She always took time for everyone, no matter what,” McPherson said. “She and I used to have a lot of one-on-one conversations, and her sweetness and compassion always came through.”
Amyah’s father recounted a time when Amyah was a child and wished to give her purse away to help another.
“She was a sweet person, the best kid,” he said. “She touched many people from a young age, including my minister, my friends and my family. Her loss is felt by so many. She was a giving person; she would give everything in her purse to someone in need.”
– Cassidy H. Wicker
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 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 kennesaw.edu.