Graduate students receive WMU Dames Endowed Scholarships

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— Three Western Michigan University graduate students have been awarded a Dames Endowed Scholarship offered on a competitive basis to exceptional students enrolled in a graduate degree program at WMU. 

First awarded in 1997 in accordance with an agreement made between the University and the WMU Women’s Association, both men and women may apply for this scholarship, but by the terms of the agreement, preference is given to women. The scholarship funds are restricted to the following elements only: tuition payment, fees and the purchase of books.

Scholarship recipients

Shacara Burrell

Burrell, of Muskegon, Michigan, is a master’s student in the School of Social Work with an interpersonal practice concentration. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in family studies from WMU and plans to begin her juris doctorate degree at WMU Cooley Law School in 2016. Burrell is dedicated to working with vulnerable populations of women and children, and she has training in the areas of substance abuse, alcohol and sexual abuse prevention. She is engaged in community outreach and has worked on the United Way Health Impact Team, as well as served on the Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Council.

Karina Ortiz-Pacheco

Ortiz-Pacheco of Quito, Ecuador, is a doctoral student with the Department of Spanish and anticipates completing her degree in 2016. She completed her undergraduate degrees in law from the Universidad Central del Ecuador and Universidad Politécnica Salesiana. At WMU, she was an adjunct instructor and also a Spanish assistant coordinator, developing professional activities for graduate students and developing tests and examinations. She won the Department of Spanish 2015 Department-Level Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award, as well as the 2013 Department-Level Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. Her dissertation research is focused on developing a narrative of five 21st-century Ecuadorian women writers.

Laura Pacheco del Castillo

Pacheco del Castillo of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a doctoral student in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. She received her undergraduate degree from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo in psychology. She is completing her internship at Texas A&M University and will return to WMU in the summer to complete her dissertation. Her research is titled "Dominican College Students' Experiences of Distress Help-Seeking and Stigma." She has presented her work at professional conferences and associations.

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