Penn State Law awards inaugural recipients of new equity scholarships

September 30, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Law in University Park awarded four students as the inaugural recipients of four new diversity scholarships as part of its commitment to ongoing concrete action on diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism. The awardees are third-year law students Brea Jones, Joy Kim, Sidnee McDonald, and second-year law student Amanda Carrizales.

“On behalf of Penn State Law, I would like to congratulate Brea, Joy, Sidnee, and Amanda for their well-earned awards,” said James W. Houck, interim dean of Penn State Law in University Park and the School of International Affairs. “Their academic success, leadership, extracurricular engagement, and commitment to equity in the legal field reflect the intent of the scholarships as well as the ideals of the Penn State Law in University Park community.”

The four scholarships were established in fall 2020 with contributions from Penn State Law senior administrators, alumni, board members, faculty, staff and students, and with matching contributions from Penn State’s Education Equity Matching Program. Altogether, the four scholarships total more than $300,000 in endowed support.

“These scholarships truly represent a community-wide effort to support our students and help diversify the legal profession,” Houck said.

George Floyd Memorial Scholarship

McDonald, a third-year law student, president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Penn State Law, and national director of career and professional development for the National Black Law Students Association, is the inaugural recipient of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship.

“I am very honored to be the recipient of this award and would like to thank the generous donors of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship,” McDonald said. “Receiving this scholarship motivates me to continue to create inclusive spaces at Penn State Law and within the legal profession. I will continue to give back to my community and support my BLSA family.”

The George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund at Penn State Law was co-founded by leadership gifts from Penn State Law Emeritus Dean Hari Osofsky and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jill Engle. In response to their call for others to join them, 37 faculty, staff, students and alumni made gifts. With the University match, the $125,000 endowed scholarship provides financial support to a rising second- and third-year student who is a member of BLSA. 

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan Educational Equity Scholarship at Penn State Law

Jones, a third-year law student and managing editor of communications for the Journal of Law and International Affairs, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Congresswoman Barbara Jordan Educational Equity Scholarship.

“Scholarships like this help students achieve their dreams,” Jones said. “It is important to have these scholarships available to help alleviate the financial burden of a legal education and allow students to focus on achieving academic success. These scholarships can also aid in shrinking the wealth inequality gap by decreasing the amount of loans students take out.”

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan Educational Equity Scholarship was created by members of the Penn State Law Development Council and Alumni Society Board, with 22 donors pledging $46,150. With the University match, it resulted in a $92,300 scholarship endowment.  

Congressman John Lewis Educational Equity Scholarship at Penn State Law

Carrizales, a second-year law student, president of the Women’s Law Caucus, and secretary of the Latinx Law Student Association, is the inaugural recipient of the Congressman John Lewis Educational Equity Scholarship.

“I am honored to be the recipient of this scholarship and very grateful to the donors who have helped fund my legal education,” Carrizales said. “I am thankful to my family, who have pushed me to become the person who I am today. Receiving this scholarship has motivated me to continue my journey in law school as the first in my family and as an advocate. I look forward to the day I can give back to my community and law students after I graduate.”

The Congressman John Lewis Educational Equity Scholarship Fund was created by members of the Penn State Law Board of Advisors. Seven board members pledged $28,000, which was matched by the University to create a $56,000 scholarship endowment.

Professor Emerita Beth Farmer Educational Equity Scholarship at Penn State Law

Kim, a third-year law student, vice chair of Penn State Law Benefiting THON, secretary of the First-Generation Law Students Association, outreach coordinator of the South Asian Law Students Association, and co-chair of the Student Bar Association Academic Affairs Committee, is the inaugural recipient of the Professor Emerita Beth Farmer Educational Equity Scholarship.

“As a first-generation immigrant of two hardworking parents, I have always been told to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to achieve my goals,” Kim said. “I am beyond grateful to Professor Emerita Beth Farmer for this generous scholarship, which relieves an immense burden off of my shoulders and will allow me to go the extra mile this school year. Thank you to the Penn State Law faculty and administration for this educational opportunity, my loved ones for constantly pushing me to do my best, and my friends for encouraging me to be unapologetically Asian, unapologetically me.”

The Professor Emerita Beth Farmer Educational Equity Scholarship Fund was created by Professor Emerita Susan Beth Farmer, who pledged $25,000, and the University match leading to a $50,000 scholarship endowment.

If you would like to support students at Penn State Law, visit this link to make your online gift, or contact Rod Schultz, director of development and alumni relations at Penn State Law, at rms6855@psu.edu.

These gifts will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Last Updated September 30, 2021