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MET provides 10 community college graduates academic scholarships

MET Dean Jay Halfond welcomed the Community Scholars to BU on August 30. Pictured are (l-r) Halfond, Nicole Kanode, Lisa Tozier, Kris Latchford, Ben Ndungo, Matt Forshay, Lisa Chute, and Elizabeth Gardner. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

The first 10 recipients of Metropolitan College’s Community Scholar academic scholarship come from diverse backgrounds — some are traveling from nearby Cambridge, others commuting from New Hampshire. Some are single, others have children. One hopes to be a doctor, another a lawyer, another a probation officer.

Most say they never thought that attending Boston University would be possible.

“I wouldn’t have considered it,” says Lisa Chute, a mother of six who plans to study criminal justice. “This scholarship definitely makes it easier.”

Chute and five other Bunker Hill Community College graduates, along with students from Middlesex and Roxbury Community Colleges, are among 10 students selected to launch MET’s new Community Scholars program, developed in collaboration with the faculty and administration of Bunker Hill Community College.

Up to 25 students will be named Community Scholars each year — receiving half their tuition for part-time study at MET — after completing an associate’s degree program at one of five colleges. The other two are Mass Bay and Northern Essex Community Colleges.

The scholarship recipients were welcomed to the University by MET Dean Jay Halfond on Tuesday, Aug. 30. “This is a very important moment for us to celebrate,” says Halfond. “We realized that we were in some ways neglecting our local responsibilities, so we wanted to figure out some way to draw students who may otherwise be feeling that BU is not an inviting institution.”

This year’s scholars are Bunker Hill graduates Chute, Matt Forshay, Nicole Kanode, Kris Latchford, and Jennifer Mattson, all of whom majored in criminal justice, and Lisa Tozier, who majored in interdisciplinary studies; Elizabeth Gardner and Ben Ndungo, who majored in biotechnology and medical research at Middlesex Community College; Roxbury Commmunity College alumni Hajri Mija, who majored in biomedical laboratory and clinical sciences, and Kathleen Nichols, who majored in management studies.

The students from Bunker Hill were encouraged to apply for the scholarship by Richard Boulware (CAS’77), a professor of criminal justice at Bunker Hill. “It was like a dream come true,” he says, “that some of these fine students I have over there would be able to come to Boston University.”