Women for OSU awards $5,000

Philanthropist of the Year also highlights sold-out annual symposium

Women for OSU Scholarships

(Stillwater, Okla., May 19, 2014) — Five students were awarded $5,000 scholarships April 10 at the sixth annual Women for Oklahoma State University Symposium.

Charlie Gibson, Nadir Nibras, Nicole Ralston, Chacey Schoeppel and Aubrey Scott each spoke about their philanthropic activity before a capacity crowd at Click Hall inside the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

"We chose these five wonderful students from among the nine finalists, all of whom are making a difference at a young age," says Trish Houston Prawl, chair of Women for OSU. "We applaud their philanthropic efforts and hope we can join them in inspiring their peers to help others as well."

Nancy Payne Ellis

Nancy Payne Ellis

Women for OSU also recognized its Philanthropist of the Year, Nancy Payne Ellis of Oklahoma City. Ellis co-chaired Bringing Dreams to Life, OSU's first comprehensive fundraising campaign, and led the campaign to renovate the football stadium. She has served as a trustee for numerous organizations, including the OSU Foundation, Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the Presbyterian Health Foundation. She is also involved in numerous other civic organizations and has earned many honors, including her 2005 induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

The event's keynote speaker was Jean Chatzky, financial editor for NBC's Today Show, an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP's personal finance ambassador and the host of Money Matters with Jean Chatzky on RLTV.

By awarding $25,000 to the five scholarship recipients, Women for OSU increased its six-year total to $74,000 in scholarships awarded to 22 students.

One of this year's beneficiaries of the group's generosity is Gibson, an economics sophomore from Ada. She has served in leadership positions with community service projects including Colors for a Cause, Dance Marathon, Phillips 66 Aviation Ball, Gravity Weekend and Polar Plunge. Gibson is also a member of Student Government Association, Student Alumni Board, International Women's Fraternity, Student Foundation and 2013 Homecoming Steering.

"I make time for philanthropy in spite of my other activities because I can; because it's possible," Gibson says. "With opportunity implies obligation and I have an opportunity to help, so I'm going to." Charlie Gibson, 2014 Women for OSU scholarship recipient

Nibras, a native of Bangladesh, is the second male to receive this scholarship. The junior is studying mechanical engineering with a focus on biomedical engineering. He is also pursuing a minor in gender and women's studies. He has raised awareness of sweatshop conditions in foreign countries and met with union leaders from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He worked with the International Justice Mission OSU Chapter to send letters of encouragement to sex-trafficking survivors. He serves as the president of the OSU men's chapter of One in Four and the OSU Cultural Exchange, and is a member of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Student Council.

"I feel like if I don't give back I'm being selfish because I have been blessed to receive so much help from others in overcoming challenges," Nibras says. "I feel it is now my responsibility to give back to the world." Nadir Nibras, 2014 Women for OSU scholarship recipient

Ralston is a marketing junior from Stillwater. She was family relations chair for Dance Marathon and fundraising coordinator for a Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser. She also volunteers with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Kanakuk Kamps, Special Olympics, OU Children's Hospital, Wings of Hope, Humane Society and K-Life Ministries. She is a Spears School of Business Scholar Leader and was a Mortar Board Top Ten Freshman Woman.

"My motivation for being involved in so much is my dad," Ralston says. "He never had schooling after high school and now he is the general manager of a company. He's motivation for me." Nicole Ralston, 2014 Women for OSU scholarship recipient

Schoeppel is an agribusiness and pre-law junior from Fairview. The Truman Scholar is the stateside director for Ubuntu Youth, a South African after-school program. She volunteers 20-30 hours per week taking care of U.S.-based logistics. She also spends her summers in South Africa, volunteering 40-60 hours per week with Ubuntu Youth. Schoeppel was named a Top Ten Freshman, Top Three Sophomore Greek Women, Top Three Freshman Greek Woman and the Student Alumni Board Campus Ambassador Member of the Year.

"I enjoy being able to teach students (in South Africa) small-scale agricultural operations," Schoeppel says, "to be able to provide them a sense of stability and lay a foundation in which they can build on and relieve the cost of food is really incredible." Chacey Schoeppel, 2014 Women for OSU scholarship recipient

Scott, an early childhood education junior, is from Owasso. Her passion for children has led her to teach 2-year-olds in OSU's Child Development Lab and served as an alternate caregiver for foster children. She also volunteers with Early Head Start, Into the Streets, LifeKids, Read Across America, Make Promises Happen camp and numerous other organizations. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Upsilon Omicron honor society and Academic Integrity Panel.

"Having the chance to work with children and give them something they can't give themselves is so enriching," says Scott. "That is what makes me so joyful." Aubrey Scott, 2014 Women for OSU scholarship recipient

Women for OSU is a diverse group of women, both alumnae and friends, who share a passion for inspiring leadership through their support of OSU. Sponsored by the OSU Foundation, the group is led by a Council who have an established giving history to the university. For more information, visit OSUgiving.com/women.

For more information about this story, contact Jacob Longan.

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