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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Zona Zoo creates new scholarships

    A joint effort between ASUA and Zona Zoo has led to the creation of two new scholarships for students, which will award either a $1,000 scholarship or a free Zona Zoo membership pass.

    Initiated this semester, the two scholarships – the Zona Zoo Membership Scholarship and the Erin A. Hertzog Scholarship – are in the preliminary stages of development.

    The Zona Zoo Memberships Scholarship will award 25 students in financial need with a free membership pass, while the Erin A. Hertzog Scholarship will award three students with a $1,000 grant.

    This semester may be the tip of the iceberg for such scholarships in the future; fewer scholarships were available this semester for the Zona Zoo membership than will be in future semesters. The difference in scholarship numbers will allow the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and Zona Zoo to gauge the reaction of students, said Hersh Goel, Zona Zoo development director.

    “”Because it was the first year that we have done this, we only put out 25 (scholarships) to see what kind of response we would get,”” Goel said. “”We will release (the scholarships) earlier next year, ideally at the beginning of the year, so that more students have an opportunity to apply for them.””

    Up to 28 scholarships will be given out – about 25 for the Zona Zoo Membership Scholarship and three for the Erin A. Hertzog Scholarship. While the Zona Zoo scholarship will be awarded on the basis of financial necessity, the Erin A. Hertzog Scholarship will be merit-based, and awarded to students who display leadership, notable academic achievement and school spirit. Two of the three scholarships will be given to students who display exceptional leadership, while the other scholarship will be awarded to a student based on their school spirit. Tentatively, more scholarships will be awarded in following years, and more information will be available to students about them, Goel said.

    Media communications at ASUA will play an important role in the scholarships as well, as they will be responsible for presenting more information to students in upcoming semesters on the process of application and the grant awards of each scholarship.

    “”We will do our best to make sure every student knows about the scholarships, how to apply and what they are all about,”” said Charles Wollin, Zona Zoo media communications director. “”It is a big deal to have a student section scholarship. It is unprecedented at the U of A … and I think very cool. We will spread the word as much as possible.””

    While the scholarship between ASUA and Zona Zoo is new, the relationship between their work efforts is not. Zona Zoo and ASUA have worked together in the past, but until now, have not presented the students with a tangible benefit based on financial needs or academic excellence. All students in the student section of UA must purchase Zona Zoo memberships, but now will be able to apply for membership scholarships. It is unclear, however, how many will be available in the future.

    “”Zona Zoo brings together a really diverse student population, lets them cheer together and gives them something in common that they might not normally have,”” Goel said. “”Our biggest strength is unity … and we are finally reaching out to the student body and giving them something which will be both a benefit and an incentive.””

    Although applications for this semester’s scholarships were due Oct. 31, the recipients of the scholarships will not be announced until sometime next week, Wollin said.

    A committee of students, ASUA staff and a faculty fellow will be assembled to select the recipients of each scholarship this semester. More information regarding future scholarships will be released before the beginning of next semester.

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