WMU News

Writer, psychology student garner University Dames scholarships

May 26, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Two doctoral students in Western Michigan University's College of Arts and Sciences have been chosen as the 1999-2000 recipients of the University Dames Endowed Scholarship.

Alicia Alvero and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley have been awarded the annual scholarship, which is given to students enrolled in a graduate degree program at Western Michigan University, with preference given to women who have successfully completed 15 credit hours of graduate work. The $600 award is applied toward tuition, fees, and books.

Alvero is working toward a doctoral degree in psychology, specializing in applied behavior analysis. She came to WMU in 1997 after completing a bachelor's degree in psychology at Florida International University.

One of only six recipients of the University-wide Research and Creative Scholar Awards for the 1999-2000 academic year, Alvero also has received internal and external funding for her research, including a $10,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control for the sponsorship of a national safety conference. She has worked as a consultant to area businesses, presented her research at professional conferences and published her work in professional journals. In addition, she was a co-organizer of a local conference and a workshop for the annual convention for the Association for Behavior Analysis.

Wesley is working toward a doctoral degree in English, specializing in creative writing. Also a 1999-2000 University-wide Research and Creative Scholar, Wesley was born in Liberia and immigrated to the United States in 1991. She has a master's degree in education from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Liberia.

Her first book, "Before the Palm Could Bloom," is a collection of poetry based on her family's

trials during the Liberian Civil War. It was published by the University's New Issues Press in 1998. She has published several poems and short stories in literary and academic periodicals and is currently at work on a memoir of her family's experiences during the war, a second book of poems and a children's book that will introduce American children to African languages and cultures.

Wesley has been the recipient of an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant to facilitate her work and two grants from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo to provide literary workshops in the Kalamazoo area. She also has been invited to read her work at several universities and at the annual meetings of the Associated Writing Programs and the African Studies Association.

The Western Michigan University Dames Endowed Scholarship is administered by The Graduate College. For more information about the award, persons may contact The Graduate College at (616) 387-3579.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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