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Scholarship Paves the Way - Ishita's Story

Karin Akerson, CAS/BSG ’96, believed in the transformative power of education. A scholarship named in her memory has done just that for its latest recipient: Ishita Jamar, SOC/BA ’23.

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The Karin A. Akerson Memorial Scholarship—an unrestricted endowed scholarship fund established at AU in 2018—has given the public relations and strategic communication major the freedom to take advantage of all an AU education offers.  
Jamar, who has a near-perfect 3.98 GPA, is advancing her studies and laying the groundwork for her future through myriad experiences beyond the classroom. She participated in AU Student Government as a senator and senate speaker, leading a commission on sexual assault prevention that culminated in a seven-page report with recommendations to improve campus culture. She has served as both president and recruitment chair for the Chi Omega sorority’s Eta Lambda chapter and cofounded Valley for Change, a grassroots organization that raises awareness around racial biases and privilege in her native New Jersey.    

She has also held six internships, which have provided her with invaluable professional experience and positioned her for a career in public relations. Two of Jamar’s internships, which she landed with support from AU’s Career Center, alumni network, and SOC faculty, were unpaid.  

“The privilege of holding unpaid internships was only attainable for me because of this scholarship,” she says. “This support has given me and my family more financial stability and has made it easier for me to build upon my academic interests outside of the classroom.” 

Jamar’s academic and experiential learning experiences, made possible with support from the Akerson scholarship, have allowed her to forge a path at AU that paves the way to making an impact as a changemaking alumna. 

Jamar intends to give back to the AU community, mentoring students and creating opportunities for them beyond the classroom. “Awards like the Akerson scholarship help alleviate tuition stress and added loans. They [enable] students to focus on their studies and themselves, rather than taking on an added shift at work—or even an extra part-time job,” she says. “I hope to one day be in a place to offer financial stability to AU students in the way the Akerson family has done for me.”