Gov. Bob McDonnell recently announced the appointment of Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and director of student success, to the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Awards Committee.

The scholarship program gives awards to eligible Virginians to attend approved education programs in Virginia. Recipients must be people who were unable to attend public school in the commonwealth between 1954 and 1964 when some schools closed to avoid desegregation. The Virginia General Assembly created the program in 2004, 50 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court decision.

"I am honored to be selected to serve on this committee and expand my service to higher education in Virginia," Sanders said. "This scholarship program is a wonderful opportunity for Virginians to further their education, something they did not have control of decades ago."

The committee is responsible for selecting eligible beneficiaries each year. The scholarship may be used for diploma completion, GED programs, career and technical education and training, as well as associate and bachelor's degree programs. It also covers master's, doctorate, and certain professional degree programs, mandatory fees, and required expenses while completing a thesis or dissertation.

"Karen is a champion for underrepresented and first-generation college students on our campus and is an excellent choice for this committee," said Rachel Holloway, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. "I know she will represent Virginia Tech well while serving the commonwealth in this capacity."

Sanders will serve a two-year term on the scholarship committee.

The committee's website has full eligibility requirements. The deadline for new and renewal applications is March 1 each year.

Sanders received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia State University and her doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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