With the Accent on Transformative Life Experiences, Woodbury University Announces First Two WISE Tuition Scholarship Recipients

Initial $1,000 Grants Awarded to Psychology Major Scholastica Cruz And Accounting Major Nataly Nazarian

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 6, 2017) – Formally ushering in a program that enables students to earn both college credit and invaluable life experiences, Woodbury University’s Scholastica Cruz and Nataly Nazarian have been named the first recipients of WISE (Woodbury Integrative Student Experience) grants, the university announced today.  Each has received a $1,000 WISE Tuition Scholarship.

Woodbury’s innovative WISE Program develops compelling educational experiences in five areas –undergraduate research, study away, civic engagement, leadership, and internships. WISE fosters transformative experiences that develop graduates with strong professional identities, applicable to emerging local and global communities. The program is available to eligible students throughout the university.

Cruz, a junior and a Psychology major, participated in the internship/work experience component of WISE, serving with Behavioral Learning Center Inc. in the San Fernando Valley. At BLC, which provides behavior analytic services to children and adults with developmental delays and related conditions, she worked with children who have mental disabilities. Her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s inspired Cruz to pursue a career in psychology.

Nazarian, a senior and an Accounting Major, participated in the WISE program’s Leadership component through Woodbury’s student-run Accounting Society, where she served as president. Dr. Eric Schockman, Chair of Leadership, mentored Nazarian on how to be a better leader in her role as head of the Society. “Scholastica and Nataly are talented, exceptionally worthy recipients of our first WISE Tuition Scholarships,” said Raida Gatten, Interim Associate VP of Academic Affairs. “Both are well positioned to benefit from these enriching, potentially life-changing experiences, and we look forward to supporting both in their future endeavors.”

WISE has established five High Impact Practices (HIPS) as part of the students’ experience at Woodbury, adding value to the curriculum and engaging students in learning that relies on the benefit of HIPS, she said. WISE provides opportunities to engage in potentially transformative in-classroom and out-of-classroom learning experiences. Under WISE, an intentional partnership between the two creates the opportunity to make a sustained impact. The five WISE experience areas include:

  • Study Away. These experiences provide students with opportunities to learn in places of environmental, cultural, and social conditions different than their own over an extended period of time. This helps them gain a better understanding of themselves and their culture, so they can become more open and inclusive global citizens.
  • Internship or Work Experience. An internship or work experience is in the field of study under the supervision of an experienced professional in the field of each program. The purpose is to provide opportunities to take theoretical ideas of the discipline and apply them to a professional environment to increase the students’ marketability and to inform their continuing academic studies.
  • Leadership. Leadership experiences provide an opportunity for students to learn how to organize and implement ideas among a diverse group of people, direct conflict resolution, and build interpersonal skills among the group. It requires participation as part of a team charged with accomplishing a common goal through the modeling of inclusivity and a strong ethical belief system.
  • Civic Engagement. Woodbury defines civic engagement as “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.”
  • Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate research experiences provide an opportunity for students to apply field research methods such as conducting interviews, observations, surveys, focus groups, etc. to systematically investigate a significant research question.

Students can choose one to two of these experiences as part of the Woodbury University Guarantee and earn up to $2,000 in tuition scholarships.

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