16 individuals to receive full-tuition scholarships for undergraduate, master's degrees

PHOENIX, Feb. 08 - As part of its ongoing commitment to making higher education highly accessible for working students, University of Phoenix is proud to announce the recipients of the 2010 Finish StrongSM Scholarship, which will provide full-tuition undergraduate or master's degree scholarships to 16 deserving men and women.

"These recipients have persevered through incredible circumstances and life challenges in their pursuit of higher education," said Bill Pepicello, University of Phoenix President. "We are excited to partner with them, providing a flexible learning environment where they can complete their degrees and jumpstart their future." 

University of Phoenix created the Finish Strong Scholarship in 2009 to help working adults who started, but were unable to complete their college degrees for various reasons, including family obligations, health impediments, and work responsibilities. Scholarship applicants were asked to submit an essay on their desire to advance their education, with an emphasis on furthering their careers and/or impacting their local communities. Scholarship recipients will have the option of choosing to enroll in the University's online program or one of more than 100 University of Phoenix campus locations across the country.

Larry Fitzgerald – wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals and a University of Phoenix student – has partnered with the University to encourage applicants to follow in his footsteps and complete their higher education. Fitzgerald recently enrolled at University of Phoenix to complete his degree, after leaving the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 to pursue a career in professional football.

"University of Phoenix is the ideal place of learning for adults juggling life responsibilities and academic learning," said Fitzgerald. "Through their dedication and perseverance, these scholarship recipients have proven that education doesn't have to stop just because life happens. I am optimistic that even more people will follow in their footsteps."

The recipients of this year's scholarship are: 

  • Sean Boardman Westbrook, Conn. 
  • Suzanne Chapman Norco, Calif. 
  • Jesus Cordero El Paso, Texas 
  • Desiree Drummond Baltimore, Md. 
  • Tammy Edwards Fort Wayne, Ind. 
  • Christine Hancock Springdale, Ariz. 
  • Lisa Jhala Shelbyville, Ind. 
  • Darralyn Johnson Austin, Texas 
  • Whitney Marbuary Windsor Mill, Md. 
  • Sophia McDaniel Lancaster, N.Y. 
  • Robert Myres Pocatello, Ind. 
  • Robert Olander Phoenix, Ariz. 
  • Luke Ouderkirk Portland, Ore. 
  • Chanda Serrano Mililani, Hawaii 
  • Dharma Shay Pahoa, Hawaii 
  • Regina Waldon Phoenix, Ariz.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses, and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of November 30, 2009, 455,600 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.