A-B Tech’s Donaldson Wins Prestigious Cooke Scholarship

Christian Donaldson with a certificate
April 24, 2020
Press Releases

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announced that A-B Tech student Christian Donaldson, was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly-competitive national scholarship provides selected students up to $40,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

One of 50 recipients, Donaldson is the only award winner for the state of North Carolina and the second for A-B Tech since the inception of the program in 2000.

“I am shocked honestly! I am crying tears of joy,” Donaldson said from the safety of her home. “It just really validates all my hard work, but it wouldn't have been possible without the amazing staff and mentors at A-B Tech.”

Donaldson will complete her Associate in Science degree from A-B Tech in May and will transfer to UNC Asheville for the NC State joint degree program in mechatronics engineering.

“Everyone at A-B Tech is thrilled for Christian, and we want to offer our congratulations,” said Interim President Dr. Joseph Barwick. “I am consistently impressed by the quality of instruction and of our students.”

She was also a recipient of the competitive 2018-19 Community College STEM Scholarship and a received the i3 S-STEM Scholarship, which is awarded each semester to academically talented students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She has been published twice in the college’s literature and arts journal, The Rhapsodist.

While at A-B Tech, Donaldson attended the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Onsite Experience at Langley Research Center, which gives community college STEM students an authentic NASA experience and encourages to finish a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university to purse a NASA-related field or career. She was also one of three students at A-B Tech that was in the Undergraduate Research Project funded by the NASA NC Space Grant.

“We know this is a very uncertain time for many students and their families. We remain deeply committed to supporting high-achieving community college students to ensure they have the resources to reach their full academic potential,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Cooke Transfer Scholars to our community and looking forward to seeing the many amazing things they do as they continue on their transfer journey.”

In addition to financial support, new Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from the Foundation to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over 2,700 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni.

Nearly 1,500 students from 311 community colleges applied for the 2020 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected represent 17 different states and plan to enroll at the nation’s most selective colleges.


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