Scholarships Matter: Nina Witman

From the April 2017 Desktop News Scholarships Matter is a series of stories highlighting students in the College of Arts and Sciences who have received and been impacted by scholarships. The student featured in this story is the recipient of one scholarship from the College of Communication and Information Sciences and two scholarships from the College of Arts and Sciences—the Outstanding Sophomore Award and the Samuel Clabaugh Scholarship. Scholarships like these are made possible by generous support from our alumni and friends.

Junior Nina Witman began attending The University of Alabama as an out-of-state student with no financial aid.

At first, Witman said it was not a big issue, but slowly the focus went from doing her school work to being able to afford school.

After talking to some of her Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sisters, she was made aware of scholarships offered to students like her, majoring in political science and communication studies, and she immediately looked into it.

After a visit with the College of Arts and Sciences scholarships coordinator, Witman filled out a few scholarship applications.

She was granted the Outstanding Sophomore Award, as well as the Samuel Clabaugh Scholarship from the Department of Political Science and the Capstone Communication Society Memorial Endowed Scholarship from the College of Communication and Information Sciences, and said she likes knowing she can devote her time to her studies rather than stressing over financial situations, but the scholarships don’t completely cover all over her tuition costs.

“It was certainly gratifying to know I was able to earn something that was recognizing my accomplishments,” Witman said. “My mom is a single parent, and it was helpful to know I was taking a certain burden off her, too.”

In earning scholarships, Witman was able to lift a little stress off herself and fill her spare time with on-campus involvement. She is a Capstone Woman, Vice President of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Alpha Kappa Psi brother, a former member of freshman forum, and a volunteer at the RISE Center and Habitat for Humanity. She also earned a 4.0 GPA last semester.

“It’s just important to realize a $500 scholarship for books or a $2,000 scholarship for tuition can make a big difference,” Witman said. “Being able to focus on academics rather than finances is what makes a 3.8 GPA student a 4.0 GPA student.”

Witman has a specific goal in mind as she wracks up extra-curricular activities and works to keep her grades up. She is scheduled to take the Law School Admissions Test in June, and hopes to attend law school, possibly at UA.

She hopes to one day be able to support the University the way donors do now and help students the way she was helped.

“We have some incredible students at this school,” Witman said. “Obviously recognizing those achievements is important, but I think being able to fund the academic dreams of those who might not have been able to attend UA otherwise is absolutely invaluable.”

The Outstanding Sophomore Award is given by the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board, a group of 200 alumni and friends of the College. The scholarship is awarded to deserving full-time sophomores who have outstanding academic and co-curricular accomplishments, uncommon maturity, and an exemplary determination to finish their university education.

 The Samuel F. Clabaugh Scholarship is awarded to a political science major in his or her sophomore year, and the stipend is paid in their junior year. The recipient is selected partly on financial need as well as academic merit.