University College is excited to announce the recipients of the Richard K. Brackin Scholarship to specialized studies majors Mercadies George and Ghaelyn Gold Grimes.

George, an Athens native, designed a specialized studies program focusing on entrepreneurships and consumer psychology. She is combining an entrepreneurship certificate with classes in the Restaurant, Hotel, and Tourism program. She served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and is now the general manager of the new Ornery Vets Cafe in uptown Athens. Ornery Vets Cafe founders plan for George to become the owner of the unique new business after two years of sweat equity, and upon her graduation, planned for spring 2023.

“Winning this scholarship is just an incredible feeling,” George said. “Seeing that the work you do, the time and effort that you put in pay off and that your dreams are coming true, that feeling is unmatched.”

Grimes is a senior from Brook Park, OH with an area of focus in family dynamics. She hopes to work with youth after graduating in the fall.

“These students were selected for the Brackin Scholarship based on both their academic excellence and triumph over their self-described challenges of being a non-traditional student,” Julie Cohara, director of academic degree programs for University College, said. “Both of our 2021 Brackin Scholars beautifully illustrate how such challenges are synthesized into self-identified strengths and opportunities.”

The Richard K. Brackin Scholarship was established in 1998 to honor Dr. Richard Keith Brackin as he retired from University College. He served as director of the Bachelor of Specialized Studies (B.S.S.) program for 19 years and directed the college’s programs for non-traditional students. The scholarship recognizes his efforts with these two groups of students.

The Brackin Scholarship is available to non-traditional students pursuing the Bachelor of Specialized Studies who are enrolled part-time or full-time. Applicants are evaluated based on academic achievement (including any transfer work), a written statement, and references.

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