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Craig H. Neilsen Foundation establishes scholarship program for UT Arlington students with spinal cord injuries

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: admissions, giving, student life, students

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The University of Texas at Arlington Office for Students with Disabilities has been selected to be a part of the prominent Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Scholarship for Students with Spinal Cord Injury program.

The scholarships, valued at $131,000, will provide tuition, fees, books and supplies for four students with spinal cord injuries for the remainder of their undergraduate or graduate program beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.     

The Neilsen Foundation also established a $75,000 supplemental support fund to reduce barriers for Neilsen Scholars’ academic success. The supplemental fund will support needs related to the students’ spinal cord injury, such as caregiver services, adaptive equipment or assistive technology, and subsidize other costs such as housing, childcare and/or transportation.

“We are elated to be able to offer this prestigious scholarship to qualifying students,” said Penny Acrey, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at UT Arlington. “Since the addition of the Minor in Disability Studies last fall, we have actually seen an increased awareness of disability on campus overall.”

The Neilsen Foundation recently awarded scholarship funding to eight institutions nationally, including: the University of Utah, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Pittsburgh, Hinds Community College (Miss.) and Portland Community College (Ore.).

Acrey said UT Arlington was chosen because of its reputation as a very physically accessible campus and the level of access and inclusion enjoyed by students with all types of disabilities, most notably through the Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball program. The Movin’ Mavs program has helped bring a critical mass of students with spinal cord injuries to campus.

Timothy Quinnan, vice president for the Division of Student Affairs, which oversees the Office for Students with Disabilities and Movin’ Mavs, applauded the generosity of the Neilsen Foundation and encouraged students who meet the qualifications to apply for the next round of scholarships.

“The Neilsen Scholarships provide a crucial support pathway to student success by providing essential financial resources to students in need of them,” Quinnan said. “Whether through our adaptive athletics programs or rigorous degree programs, the resources are there to help students with spinal cord injury complete their academic careers and continue to be examples of excellence for our University.”

For more information about how to apply for the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Scholarship for Students with Spinal Cord Injury for the 2015-16 academic year, contact Doug Garner at 817-272-3410 or email dgarner@uta.edu.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation was established in 2002 as a private foundation dedicated to research to develop treatments for spinal cord injury and quality of life programs for people living with SCI. Neilsen was an entrepreneur who lived with a high level spinal cord injury for 21 years until his death in 2006. He developed the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to contribute in a significant way to SCI research and to offer those with SCI the quality of life they deserve.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter. 

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.