Scholarships awarded to six students in graduate, undergrad programs

July 14, 2017
Story and photos submitted by the Rev. Debra Juarez
Director, Wesley Foundation, University of Wyoming

This year, six scholarships were awarded to students by the Rocky Mountain Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. The awards include two Merit Scholarships from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and four from the Marion Reid gift.

Merit award recipients are:
  • Ariana Hernandez-Macias is pursuing a business degree at the University of Denver. She attends Brentwood United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado, where she teaches Sunday School and serves as a Whiz Kids tutor. Ariana is receiving a $500 award.
  • Jaime Nieves is a graduate student at the Iliff School of Theology pursuing a Master of Divinity degree and working towards ordination as an elder. She currently serves as a local pastor at First UMC in Yuma, Colorado, where she is actively involved in many community organizations. Jaime is receiving an $800 award.
Marion Reid Women’s Scholarship awards are going to two graduate students and two undergraduate students. Each recipient receives a $2,500 award.

Recipients are:
  • Mavis Badu is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wyoming. Mavis is from Kumasi, Ghana and has been active in the Wesley Foundation at the University of Wyoming and First UMC in Laramie. She is studying agronomy with the goal of working to make Ghana more food secure.
  • Marissa Rae Castanos is an undergraduate attending Fort Hays State University. Her major is psychology and she hopes to be a counselor, possibly in a correctional facility. Marissa is a member of Wiley UMC in Colorado where she has been an active participant in the life of the church.
  • Robbie Ann Feuerstein attends Pueblo Community College where she is working to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She currently works as an Occupational Therapy Aide in a local school in Canon City, Colorado. Robbie has been a United Methodist since birth and attends First UMC in Canon City.
  • Keri Rusthoi is pursuing her doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. She is the choir director at the UMC of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She works with both adults and children and has been attending the church for 25 years. She hopes to attain a tenured-faculty position at a university in the future.
Scholarship awards are a major function of the Conference BHECM. Merit Scholarships are administered by the Office of Loans and Scholarships of the GBHEM. Initial screening of applicants is done by this office and then a scholarship committee of the BHECM makes the final selections. Applicants must be attending a United Methodist related institution.

The scholarship committee also reviews applications for Marion Reid scholarships and makes the final selections. Marion Reid was active in the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church and her desire was to assist fellow United Methodist women wishing to further their education. We are grateful for her legacy of service to the church and her gift of funds for these scholarships. One criterion for the scholarship is service to the church.
Questions about the Merit and Reid awards can be directed to Rev. Debra Juarez.