Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Kayla Thomas of Decatur awarded four University of Illinois Springfield scholarships

Kayla Thomas, a resident of Decatur, and English major at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been awarded the following scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year: The AAUW-Sandra G. Hockenyos Scholarship, the AAUW-Wanda Chapel Scholarship, the Kathryn G. Patton Scholarship and the James L. Lundquist Memorial Scholarship.

Thomas has a passion for writing. She believes that sharing stories is rebellious and can change the world. “I believe that by reading what has come before, we get a glimpse of what the world was, is, and what it could be,” she said.

Following graduation, Thomas plans to pursue a career as an editor in an independent publishing house. She also plans to be a prison educator. “I plan to bring the narratives of those who cannot get their stories out to the world,” she said.

Thomas said UIS has allowed her to flourish as a writer. “My confidence has grown and my personal motivation and purpose in life has become clearer.”

The AAUW-Sandra G. Hockenyos Scholarship was established in honor of a former president of the organization whose commitment to community service and public education included the establishment of a Saturday morning enrichment program for academically tenacious students.

The AAWU-Wanda Chapel Scholarship honors a former president of the organization both at the local and state level. Chapel is credited with increasing civic and community involvement, including the first statewide Legislation Day.

Recipients of the Kathryn G. Patton Scholarship must be an English or Visual Arts major with a demonstrated sense of social and civic responsibility.

The James L. Lundquist Scholarship honors a man who, after a successful career as a financial consultant, volunteered as a member of the UIS Development Advisory Committee and was recognized for his leadership. The Lundquist scholarship is given to students studying to be teachers.

For more information on scholarships, contact the UIS Office of Financial Assistance at 217/206-6724 or For a full list of scholarship opportunities visit The deadline to apply for institutional scholarships is February 15, 2020.

If you are interested in creating a scholarship, please contact the UIS Office of Advancement at 217/206-6058 or

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