Front lawn of Brenau's Ganiesville Campus

Introducing the Class of 2022 Brenau Scholars

Jan. 2, 2019
Jensen Meaux

The Brenau Scholars Program recognizes those who, as the Brenau Ideal states, “find satisfaction in being rather than in seeming” and “find joy in doing rather than in dreaming.” The young women chosen for this program epitomize these standards, using their talents, ambition and brilliance daily to pursue their goals and to excel in academics, community service and extracurricular activities.

Awarded annually to incoming freshmen through a rigorous selection process, the scholarship grants full residential tuition. It is renewable each year under the stipulation that the student keeps at least a 3.2 grade-point average and maintains her involvement in the university and community.

 

Emily Ashmead is a theatre major from Flowery Branch, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Emily Ashmead is a theater major from Flowery Branch, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Emily Ashmead

Hometown: Flowery Branch, Georgia
Major: Theater
Brenau clubs and activities: Phi Mu
Her career goals: “I want to perform for as long as possible and then hopefully get certified to do hair and makeup on a production crew, or take the GACE and teach theater. I have been involved in theater and chorus for many years, and it is what makes me happy. I couldn’t imagine studying anything else. Brenau has such a high-quality theater program, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to study under such talented people.”
Her inspiration: “I look up to my elders who have been successful in the field I want to end up in, like my directors and vocal coaches. They inspire and encourage me to keep trying, even when it may feel like I’ve failed. My family has also been a great support to me. They always believe in my abilities and trust my decisions.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “My favorite thing about Brenau is the sense of community that a student can feel here. It’s a small campus which helps freshman, like myself, feel more included and at home.”

 

Haley Bernardo is a pre-nursing major from Duluth, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Haley Bernardo is a pre-nursing major from Duluth, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Haley Bernardo

Hometown: Duluth, Georgia
Major: Pre-nursing
Brenau clubs and activities: Golden Tigers swim team, Alpha Chi Omega
Her career goals: “I find it exhilarating to know that I’ll be making a change in people’s lives by becoming a nurse. Brenau University is one of the top nursing schools in the Southeast, so I knew that I had to go to Brenau to achieve my career goals and more.”
Her inspiration: “My little sister has given me the motivation to become the best role model I can be. My parents encourage my growth and have provided unwavering support. My grandpa encouraged me to pursue my highest calling. My swim coaches have also taught me that I can overcome any obstacle because I’m stronger than I think I am.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “The unity on campus is, by far, my favorite aspect of Brenau. Students and faculty hold different beliefs and values, and we come from all over the world. Yet, at Brenau University, we are a powerful, unifying force — everyone destined to become the best person they can be.”

 

Annabelle Lee is a special education and business student from Suwanee, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Annabelle Lee is a special education and business student from Suwanee, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Annabelle Lee

Hometown: Suwanee, Georgia
Majors: Special education and business
Brenau clubs and activities: Golden Tigers competitive cheer
Her career goals: “My ultimate goal is to start a company to tutor children with learning disabilities. I want to open a location in Sugar Hill or Suwanee and work after school teaching students who just need a little extra help.”
Her inspiration: “I went to a small hybrid school, Artios Academies of Sugar Hill. We met just two days a week, allowing for plenty of time the other weekdays. The teachers had time to meet with us one-on-one and were able to help, specifically, students with learning disabilities. I saw dyslexic students earn As on English finals, students with Asperger’s make friends more easily and feel connected, and ADHD students figure out which study habits work for them. Our public schools don’t have opportunities like this, so when I saw the need, I wanted to fill it.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “It was important to me that I go to a school with small class sizes. I love being able to talk to my professors individually and really get to know my classmates. This makes for a supportive campus environment and a connected student body.”

 

Rachel Hodges is a business major from Buford, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Rachel Hodges is a business major from Buford, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Rachel Hodges

Hometown: Buford, Georgia
Major: Business
Brenau clubs and activities: Golden Tigers volleyball team, Rotaract Club
Her major: “I have had interests in every occupation imaginable, from veterinary medicine to interior design. So I wanted to find a major that may allow me to dive into all of my interests in some way. With a business degree, I could work in a variety of different settings and businesses, opening my eyes to many different business styles and atmospheres.”
Her inspiration: “My parents are the most hardworking and loving people that I know, and they have always taught me to strive to be the best I can. My father owns his own business, is dedicated to every task thrown his way, and my mother has taught me to love unconditionally no matter the circumstances. These traits have allowed me to mold my work ethic and my passion into one and be in control of my own future.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “How tight-knit the community is. Everyone knows everyone, and it is amazing to know that around every corner there is a friend willing to be there for you and to help you with anything.”

 

Erin Magner is a BFA Costume Design and Technology/BA Acting major from Stone Mountain Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Erin Magner is a BFA Costume Design and Technology/BA Acting major from Stone Mountain Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Erin Magner

Hometown: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Majors: Acting and costume design and technology
Brenau clubs and activities: Gainesville Theatre Alliance
Her career goals: “I want to move to Chicago and design and create costumes for upcoming shows that preview there before they are taken to Broadway.”
Her inspiration: “I’ve always loved the feeling the theater gave me, whether I was on the crew, performing or just sitting in the audience. There’s something beautiful about a room full of people feeling together. My parents always made sure I was brought up surrounded by art, and that upbringing developed into a dependence on it; I crave connection. It could be to my fellow artists, an audience of people, or even a connection to the past through my research in costume design, I need to be entangled in the web of humanity, of empathy, of life. That is what drives me.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “Genuinely, it is the small class size. I could not imagine walking into a lecture hall with hundreds of students. There’s something so personal about your professor knowing you by name, which is a small thing, but it matters. I think the relationships I am able to create because of this really allow me to flourish as a student.”

 

Sarah Owens is a dance and pre-occupational therapy students from St. Augustine, Fla. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Sarah Owens is a dance and pre-occupational therapy students from St. Augustine, Fla. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Sarah Owens

Hometown: St. Augustine, Florida
Majors: Dance and pre-occupational therapy
Brenau clubs and activities: Gainesville Ballet Company, Gather Bible Study and College Republicans
Her career goals: “My goal is to help people live healthy and full lives. I love to dance more than I can explain. It is challenging at times, but it has a way of bringing people together and filling the room with joy.”
Her inspiration: “I am inspired by Jesus Christ, who was a healer and an artist. He created the masterpiece that we know as creation, and he healed those who were sick spiritually and physically. I want to follow his example and use my art form to heal people.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “My favorite thing about Brenau is that I can pursue my love of dance while gaining the experience that I need to be successful in graduate school. I do not have to sacrifice one thing in order to gain the other.”

Ashley Sciandra is a pre-occupational therapy major from Cumming, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Ashley Sciandra is a pre-occupational therapy major from Cumming, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Ashley Sciandra

Hometown: Cumming, Georgia
Major: Pre-occupational therapy
Brenau clubs and activities: Alpha Chi Omega, Brenau Occupational Therapy Students Association
Her career goals: “I want to become a licensed occupational therapist and work to help people in their everyday lives. My grandma had a stroke a few years ago, and I saw her struggle and wanted to help her. Seeing how it affected her daily life, I realized I wanted to help people in similar situations. This is why I am pursuing a health science major with a concentration in occupational therapy and a minor in gerontology.”
Her inspiration: “My inspiration is my mom and dad, who worked their way through college, came from poor families and worked hard to provide for me and my sisters. They inspire me to work as hard as I can and that anything is possible.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “My favorite thing about Brenau is Greek life on campus.”

Michelle Vu is a health science pre-nursing major from Lawrenceville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Michelle Vu is a health science pre-nursing major from Lawrenceville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Michelle Vu

Hometown: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Major: Nursing
Brenau clubs and activities: Golden Tigers soccer team
Her career goals: “I want to become a RN and get my master’s to become a nurse anesthetist. I love being able to help others, so nursing was the way to go for me. I also wanted to get a master’s degree, and with nursing, there were so many options to what I could do after I got my BSN.”
Her inspiration: “My family is made of refugees and immigrants from Vietnam. They risked their lives to move to a different country with no money and no English-speaking ability to make a new life for the next generations to come. My parents have sacrificed so much of their time and money to make sure that I had the best life that I could have. They made sure I got a good education and are making sure that I continue my education. Their unconditional love for me motivates me to do the best that I can in everything that I do.”
Favorite part of her Brenau experience: “There is such a tight-knit community here at Brenau. Everybody looks out for everybody else, and it is such an encouragement, especially during stressful times.”

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100