UA Women’s Circle Gives $70,000

Patsy Watkins, Chair of the Dept. of Journalism in the Fulbright College, accepts a check from the Women’s Giving Circle.
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Patsy Watkins, Chair of the Dept. of Journalism in the Fulbright College, accepts a check from the Women’s Giving Circle.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Women's Giving Circle recently awarded $70,000 in grants to support five new initiatives that will impact the UA campus, the northwest Arkansas community and the state of Arkansas. The awards were presented on March 31.

The Women's Giving Circle was created in 2002 by the founding members of the Women and Philanthropy Committee of the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century. The purpose of the group is to create a substantial pool of new money from women in support of the University of Arkansas while, at the same time, encouraging women as philanthropic leaders. The Circle considers funding proposals for campus projects on an annual basis and every member of the Circle votes on which project or projects will receive funding for the current year.

The projects that received funding this year are as follows.

The Division of Student Affairs’ program, Summer Institute for Gifted and Talented Scholars, received $25,000 from the UA Women’s Giving Circle. The institute will serve as the University of Arkansas’ premier pre-college outreach program for the region’s best and brightest students. It provides an intensive three-week residential experience for students with exceptional academic ability who have completed seventh, eighth or ninth grade. This advanced and educationally dynamic learning environment is designed to develop the intellect and imagination of intellectually gifted students. As part of a holistic approach, the Summer Institute supplements all accelerated academic learning with a variety of extracurricular activities to address the social and affective needs of all participants. In keeping with the mission of the Women’s Giving Circle, the opportunity to experience the Summer Institute would enrich the lives of 10 girls who have the academic potential to excel in fields in which women are traditionally underrepresented. 

The Safe Ride program, an initiative also created by the Division of Student Affairs, received $20,000 from the Women’s Giving Circle. This program was designed to provide students with an efficient means of transportation from any uncomfortable or inconvenient situation. Using marketing materials and word-of-mouth, the University of Arkansas hopes to educate students about safe methods of transportation, better ensuring their safety and providing peace of mind for our communities and for parents.

The third project from the Division of Student Affairs to receive Women’s Giving Circle support is a program called Loving Yourself from the Inside Out - a program intended to disseminate messages of body acceptance and health maintenance on the University of Arkansas campus. This new initiative received $12,360. Body dissatisfaction is, by some researchers, considered to be the norm among American women. The internalization of negative cultural messages has been linked to low self-esteem, depression, chronic dieting and disordered eating and halted personal and social development. The project will consist of two components: campus wide consciousness-raising though a public information campaign and an interactive educational intervention targeted to first- and second-year women living in campus residence halls. A curriculum will be developed allowing replication of this program in other settings including high schools and other colleges and universities.

The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences was awarded $6,500 for the program Journalism Workshop for Minority High School Students: Creating a Newspaper in 10 Days at the U of A. The project is a 10-day residential workshop in summer 2006 for 10 to 14 African-American high school students from the Arkansas Delta area. The workshop will teach the students how to create a newspaper. It is an expansion of already existing efforts to increase diversity throughout the university, within the journalism department and inside the journalism profession.

The fifth and final program to receive Women’s Giving Circle funding was created by the College of Education and Health Professions. The Marshallese Home Learning Literacy Project was awarded $4,600. This grant will support a project in the Marshallese community that provides children’s literacy materials that incorporate the Marshallese culture along with home-based learning activities for grades Pre-K-4. The goals of the project are to improve children’s English literacy skills by providing access to culturally appropriate children’s literature; increase the mother’s participation in their child’s development of English literacy; and promote and maintain a sense of well-being and cultural connection among women and children in the Marshallese community.


Susan Neyman, director, annual programs and gift services
University Development
(479) 575-3238

Danielle Povar, manager, development communications
University Relations
(479) 575-7346,


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