Mohawk Valley Community College student Pawser Soe of Utica has been selected to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Soe, an International Studies major, is one of 73 scholars selected from a pool of 769 nominees from 377 community colleges across the country. She is the first student in MVCC history to receive the award.
Soe, originally from Burma, was forced into a refugee camp in Thailand, where she was able to escape her war-torn homeland before moving to the United States. During her time at MVCC, she has earned an impressive list of academic achievements, including being named to the President’s List and Vice President’s List, and Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Soe also won the Professional Association Scholarship, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the All-NYS Academic Team Award, and the Coca-Cola Gold Scholarship. Soe has been accepted at American University in Washington, D.C
Beyond her academic achievements, Soe has been an Orientation Leader for both traditional and returning adult students. She is an active member of the International Club, Women in Science and Engineering Club, and the Gay/Straight Alliance. Soe is also active in the community with organizations such as the Red Cross, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, New York State Migrant Education Program, Crohns and Colitis Foundation for America, and the Utica Rotary Club. She has even formed a group called American and Refugee Students for a Closer Connection, “to help students learn about and better understand one another.”
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program honors excellence by supporting outstanding community college students with financial need as they transfer to and complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges and universities. The program is the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country, providing up to $30,000 per year for up to three years to community college students who are nominated by their schools.
A highly selective scholarship, the final 73 recipients represent just 9.5 percent of the total applicant pool. The chosen scholars stood out for their exceptional academic ability and achievements, financial need, persistence, leadership, and desire to help others.