The AWIS East Bay Scholarship Program strives to encourage and reward outstanding women pursuing degrees in science fields at East Bay colleges and universities. This year we have the honor of selecting up to five $1000 Scholarship Award recipients! Three scholarships are made in memory of Lorraine McCormick, the mother of Sheila McCormick, an East Bay AWIS member. Two scholarships are made possible by the Ohlone Audubon Society in memory of Sara Mathews and Helen McDermon Sowers.
The Scholarship Program supports community college, undergraduate, and graduate student women in the East Bay CA who are pursuing degrees in science fields. Scholarship funds may be used to support the advancement of their education: e.g. to support educational expenses, for professional advancement courses, to attend a professional conference or for purchasing equipment vital for supporting research.
Complete this form, which asks (in no more than 750 words) how you would use an AWIS East Bay Scholarship to advance your scientific career. Note: this form is used for both the Lorraine McCormick and Ohlone Audubon Society Scholarships, applicants will be considered for all scholarships they are eligible for.
Applications are due by Sunday June 13th. Awardees will be notified in July as part of the AWIS Northern California Chapter Awards Banquet.
For all scholarships: Female-identifying students actively engaged in a degree program in upcoming academic year may apply. Applicants must be enrolled (or accepted by) an accredited college or university in the East Bay, CA.
For the Sara Mathews Scholarship: Priority will be given to applicants that are East Bay residents, though all California residents are eligible.
For the Helen Sowers Scholarship: Priority will be given to students accepted to/ attending California State University, East Bay (as that is where Helen taught). Though if there are no applicants from CSU East Bay, students attending any East Bay institution are eligible.
The Lorraine McCormick memorial scholarships were established in 2004 by Sheila McCormick, AWIS member and recipient of the 2002 Judith Pool Award.
Lorraine McCormick was born September 4, 1912 and died September 16, 2003. Her father died when she was 2. During the Depression, her mother had less than $10 cash after the bank failed, thus they had to sell their house in Farmersville, Illinois and move in with relatives who ran a hotel in Alton, Illinois. But they were able to keep the farm (40 acres), which another cousin farmed for them.
After finishing high school in 1931, Lorraine received a college scholarship, but there wasn’t enough money for her to attend, so she went to work as a secretary. She married in 1940, and had 4 daughters (born in 1942, 1947, 1952 and 1955); all finished college. She would surely have approved of helping women to attend college.
Born in Minnesota, Sara graduated from Washburn High School, received an academic scholarship to Smith college, then finished a Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley. Post- graduation found Sara working with East Bay area children on the Autism Spectrum and helping families bring teaching and learning tools home after school. Her passion to help all these people left a legacy of success for autistic kids throughout San Francisco.
Sara was an avid birder and world traveler. Her love of culture and community made her many lifelong friends. She was the original foodie, cooking for camping trips and friends at home. Immersed in culture, Sara danced her way throughout the years with Berkeley Folk Dancers. Outspoken politically, Sara marched for peace and change throughout her life.
Born in Southern California, Helen spent her early years on the beach in San Pedro. This gave her a lifelong fondness of swimming and spending time in and around the water. After graduating from Union High School in Huntington Beach, she attended University of California Berkeley and graduated with honors in the School of Public Health in 1945. She later received her Masters degree in Medical Microbiology from Cal State Hayward where she also taught until she retired.
Helen loved the outdoors, swimming, sailing, hiking, birding and mushrooming. She instilled a love of the outdoors in all her children. She was selfless in volunteering, taking leadership roles in the PTA, the California Association of Medical Lab Technologists, and the Ohlone Audubon Society. She loved the opportunities life offered her. Helen also loved challenging her mind with Bridge, Scrabble, and memorizing poetry.
Aspiring Nursing Student, Berkeley City College
Bachelors Student, Laney College and College of Alameda
Masters Student in Biological Sciences, Dominican University