Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Program Impact
Since 2004, the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship has supported Workshop attendance for 55 people. Of those winners, 34 had a background in practice and 21 had a background in research. Nineteen of the 55 were students at the time the scholarship was awarded.
The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship recognizes outstanding individuals who share Myers' commitment to disaster research and practice and have the potential to make a lasting contribution to reducing disaster vulnerability.
At least one scholarship recipient each year will receive financial support allowing them to attend the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Scholarships can cover part or all of transportation, meals, lodging, and Workshop registration costs.
Recipients are recognized at the Workshop and will be asked to present a poster or to serve as panelists, where they can highlight their research or practical experiences with hazards and disasters.
As the longtime co-director of the Natural Hazards Center, Myers recognized that many of the people and organizations that could benefit from and contribute to the Workshop—including local practitioners, students, and international professionals—were among those least likely to afford it. The scholarship was established in 2003 to fulfill Myers’ request that qualified and talented individuals receive support to attend, ensuring that representatives of all ages, professions, and communities be represented at the Workshop.
Myers served as co-director of the Center for 16 years until her death in 2004. Reducing disaster loss was her life’s work. During her tenure, she helped to bring about fundamental changes in hazards perspectives and instituted farsighted and sustainable ways of dealing with extreme environmental events. In addition, she provided leadership, guidance, grace, and laughter and established a standard of excellence admired and emulated by her colleagues. She was an innovator, a mentor, and a creative spirit who touched many lives. Her legacy has had a lasting impact on the global hazards community.
To see a list of all previous winners, please click here: Scholarship Winners
Marysel Pagán Santana
Marysel Pagán Santana is the director of environmental and occupational health for the Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN). She is also the senior program manager of the Caribbean Office, where she leads and coordinates MCN climate projects. In this role, Pagán Santana provides technical assistance, training, and tool development that help community health centers and residents address disaster issues and target health outcomes.
Amber Shumpert is the currently working on a PhD in business administration with a specialization in homeland security policy and leadership. Her focus on demonstrating a link between natural disasters, climate change, and homeland security, with the goal of elevating the political importance of these topics. Shumpert is currently the regional safety officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) where she focuses on occupational safety and hazards and is liaison to the local department of emergency management.
See full winner bios on the Scholarship Winners page.
Eligibility and Application
For the 2024 competition, applicants must reside outide North America or the Caribbean. Eligibility is based on current place of residence, not citizenship. Applicants who reside inside North America or the Caribbean will be eligible for the next open scholarship call. Previous in-person attendees of the Natural Hazards Workshop are not eligible. Preference is given to those who can demonstrate financial need. Hazards practitioners, students, and researchers with a strong commitment to disaster management and mitigation are encouraged to apply.
Please check back here in early 2024 to apply.
20 Year Anniversary of the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Video
The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship is made possible by generous contributions from numerous individual donors as well as support from:
- The Association of State Floodplain Managers
- The Extension Disaster Education Network
- The Red River, North Dakota, High School Classroom Teachers Association
- The Lowlander Center
- The authors and editors of Social Vulnerability to Disasters
- The author of Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States
- The author of Hazards Analysis: Reducing the Impact of Disasters
We would also like to extend additional thanks to the current Mary Fran Myers Scholarship selection committee: Co-Chairs Betty Lai and Ponmile Olonilua, Ray Chang, and Lisa Jackson.
Request for Contributions
The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship provides financial support for recipients to attend and participate in the annual Natural Hazards Workshop to further their research or practitioner career paths. To make a gift, please visit the CU Foundation site by clicking on the link below.
Donate to the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
For questions regarding the scholarship, please email committee co-chairs Betty Lai at email@example.com and Ponmile Olonilua at Oluponmile.Olonilua@tsu.edu.