Awards and Scholarships

IFW Receives Second Grant From the Avon Products Foundation

In the spring of 2003, Initiatives For Women was the recipient of a second grant from the Avon Products Foundation. The $72,000 grant will be used to support 8 women who will be entering the University at Albany for study as transfer students from local community colleges, during the 2003-2004 academic year.

The Avon-IFW Life Impact Scholarship Program

Funded by a grant from the Avon Products Foundation to the University's Initiatives For Women program, the Life Impact Scholarship Program supports ten very motivated nontraditional women in financial need, who received their two-year degrees from local area community colleges and have now been admitted to the University at Albany. Nine of the women transfer students entered the University at Albany in the fall, 2001. Each received a scholarship of $4,000 per year for two years (a total scholarship of $8,000). All recipients are exceptional women with at least a 3.0 GPA from their two-year school. Each scholar is partnered with a faculty mentor and IFW sister. Special mentorship and assistance from an academic advisor dedicated to helping these students succeed and complete their bachelor's degree is also provided.

Faculty Mentors & IFW Sisters

Avons-IFW Life Impact Scholars recieve support during their academic careers from both University faculty and members of IFW. Scholars have majored in various subjects areas including: criminal justice, political science, psychology, and sociology and have been assigned faculty mentors from several schools and departments like Psychology, Political Science, Sociology and the Schools of Criminal Justice and Social Welfare.

The IFW sisters are members IFW who have volunteered to work with the Avon-IFW Life Impact Scholars on an informal basis to help ensure their success at the University. They come from both academic departments including the Departments of English and the School of Education; as well as other campus offices including University Advancement, Residential Life, the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, University Relations, Information Technology Services and the Professional Development Program.

Among the stated goals of IFW since its birth in 1993 is to support the aspirations and economic empowerment of women through financial awards that underwrite their academic and professional development. Said Kathleen Walas, president of the Avon Products Foundation, Inc.: "Avon is especially pleased that the grant to UAlbany's Life Impact program will empower women by providing direct scholarship aid for nontraditional women students, as well as allow the University to identify models that can be replicated at other institutions to help integrate mature women into four year colleges upon completion of a two year community college degree."

Nontraditional transfer students often lack the financial resources to attend college full-time, and prolonged part-time study often results in their dropping out. The Avon grant affords them the opportunity to complete their degrees and achieve their full potential.

In addition to scholarship funding, a portion of the grant created a University support service to target and directly serve the unique needs of these students, providing advice, mentoring, and general support.

"Since transfer students comprise nearly one third of our student population, and nontraditional students are a growing percentage of that population, it is fitting that the University at Albany is now focusing greater care and resources on these students' unique challenges. The Avon grant paves the way for their success and their future economic empowerment."