When longtime editor for The Coloradoan, Elizabeth Woodworth, passed away in 1992, she left behind a significant legacy.
Part of Woodworth’s legacy included bequeathing 25 percent of her estate to CSU to establish a scholarship fund for students of Spanish descent. El Centro used the gift to establish the Elizabeth Woodworth Memorial Scholarship.
Mary Gomez, program assistant in systems engineering, started working at CSU in 1990 as a staff member in the Vice President for Research office. After meeting then-director of El Centro, Guadalupe Salazar, Gomez transitioned to working as the administrative assistant, a position she held for 10 years.
When the Woodworth scholarship was created, Salazar asked Gomez to head the scholarship committee – a role she has served in since 1992.
“It is amazing how after [working on the scholarship committee] for so many years, the decision process doesn’t get any easier,” Gomez said. “You still read some of the personal statements and get tears in your eyes at the injustices [the applicants] face.”
Gomez continues to serve on the scholarship committee because of the students it supports.
“Students are the reason we are here,” Gomez said. “We need to advocate for the students.”
The personal statements are part of the application, along with an essay and a letter of recommendation. The topics for the essays change each year. This year, essay topics were related to different societal impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, the scholarship was only open to students who were enrolled in the College of Applied Human Sciences or the College of Liberal Arts. Now, however, the scholarship is open to any first-generation student at CSU working towards a bachelor’s degree.
In addition, applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA, have an interest in, understanding of, and life experiences with Latinx culture, and be able to volunteer 25 hours with El Centro during the school year.
The recipients of this year’s Elizabeth Woodworth Memorial scholarship are:
- Alexia Vidrio-Aguirre
- Emely Cruz Arrazola
- Adrian Contreras
- Sara Penilla Montoya
- Melissa Duran Marin
- Kayla N Prieto
- Ricardo Vazquez
- Jonathan Pizarra
- Maira Oliva
- Alejandra Marinelarena
- Kasandra Anaya
- Joel Barraza Nava
- Yaquelin Vergara
Learn more about the Elizabeth Woodworth Memorial Scholarship.
About El Centro:
El Centro works to provide support for the Latinx community at CSU and Fort Collins through encouraging student engagement, academic success, cultural pride, empowerment, and volunteer/leadership opportunities. El Centro strives to promote an inclusive environment that focuses on awareness and understanding of the Latinx experience. Learn more at elcentro.colostate.edu.