2013 Scholarship Recipients

Brittany Reese, Shannon Jimmie and Siena Lopez-Johnston

Announcing the 2013 recipients of the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship

In remembrance of JoAnn Jeter, Bonneville Power Administration’s dedicated Diversity Program Manager who died last year, the Jeter Family established this scholarship fund.  The  scholarship keeps alive the essence of Jo’s work – to support and encourage students who may face unique challenges to higher education.  Perhaps they are the first in their family to attend college or they have no financial support from their family.  The Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union account 131978 remains an ongoing avenue for charitable donations.  A point of contact for the scholarship is Karen Graves Pyrch (503-230-3194).

Our independent panel of area educators evaluated 22 applications this year, up from 13 applications last year.  Below are the three students that the Jeter Family is generously encouraging this school year through its scholarship support:

  • $800 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Brittany Reese
  • $600 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Shannon Jimmie
  • $500 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Sienna Lopez-Johnston (second year recipient)


Brittany Reese

Dear JoAnn Jeter Memorial Scholarship Selection Committee,

Ya’ateeh, shi ei Brittany Reese yinishye. Honaghaahnii doone’e nishligo. Txlizilani bashishchiin. To’aheedliinii ei dashicheii doo Loka’aa’ Dine’e ei dashinali. Hello! My name is Brittany Reese and I am of the One Who Walks Around You clan, born for the Many Goats clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Water Flows Together People clan, and my paternal grandfather is of the Reed People clan. As a Dine (Navajo), I value and respect my elders and ancestors greatly. When I introduce myself, it is necessary to include my ancestors as well. This is in remembrance of my ancestors, so that they are never forgotten. I am eighteen years old and I am a college sophomore. I am from Kayenta Arizona, with a population around five thousand people. Kayenta is a part the Navajo Nation which is located in Northern Arizona. I am a full blooded Dine.

 I am currently enrolled at Yavapai College (YC) as a full time student. YC is a community college located in Prescott, Arizona. This college is four hours away from my home town. I am studying to become a nurse. It is my ultimate goal to be employed with the Indian Health Service, which provides clinics and hospitals on the Navajo reservation. We are in need of nurses and many other health professionals. With a nursing degree I will return to my homeland to assist my people.

In the process of leaving my sacred homeland and living on my own is a challenge. My late father always expected great things from me, which is the reason why I am striving for a better future for myself.

I extremely appreciate becoming a JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity recipient. I literally cried when I received my award letter. If it were not for your assistance, I would not be able to continue my education with ease. Words cannot explain how grateful it is to receive this $800.00 scholarship. My father always told me what he expected from me. Becoming a recipient of your scholarship brings me a step closer to accomplishing my goals. This is molding me into the woman my father wants me to be. I want my father to be proud of the things I will accomplish in the near future. I would like to thank you as well as my father for being my motivation and pushing me towards my dreams each day. Thank you and God bless.

Ahehee’ (Thank you),

Shannon Jimmie

My name is Shannon Jimmie and I grew up in a tinyvillage in rural Alaska. First, I would like to thank the committee for selecting me as an award recipient. I am truly honored.

Recently, I graduated from Mt Edgecumbe High School, a boarding school in Sitka, AK. For all four years, I played basketball. As a junior, I was accepted into the National Honors Society, where we volunteered in community service and helped fundraise for international organizations such as Unicef and Oxfam. I was later elected the secretary. During my senior year, another Mt Edgecumbe student, as well as myself, were elected into the University of Alaska Southeast Student Government Association. I was appointed secretary. To be eligible for these positions, we had to take at least one UAS class. During both semesters of my senior year, I took 12 credit hours of dual-enrollment courses. As a result of strong work ethic and motivation, I was class salutatorian.

Over the summer, I did a summer research internship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with the National Institute of Health. I did my research on measuring adiponectin (a protein hormone found in fat tissue) and hbA1c (blood sugar) concentrations in sedentary and conditioned sled dogs. At the end of the summer, the NIH sends each high school intern to the National Institute of Health’s main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. During the five days that I was there, I had the opportunity to present my research to professors and high school students in a PowerPoint and poster presentation. I plan to continue working with the NIH next summer.

As fall approaches, I will be attending George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon to study biology as a freshman undergrad. My overall career is to be a medical scientist.

Once again, I would like to thank the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship committee for selecting me for this opportunity.


Siena Lopez-Johnston

As a second year recipient of a Jo Ann Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship I am beyond grateful and feel honored to once again thank the Jeter family and the independent panel of educators for selecting me.  I am humbled by this opportunity considering the impressive quality and competition among applicants.  Having known Jo and considering her a mentor, it is truly a privilege for me to accept this scholarship upon entering my final year of graduate studies.  Her encouragement and belief in me was an influence in my decision to go back to school and pursue a master’s degree, and for that I am forever thankful.

In the spring (June 2013) I completed my first year of graduate studies at Portland State University (PSU) in the Environmental Science and Management Program pursuing my Masters in Science.  My first year was spent with a course load that was very heavy taking classes in Ecotoxicology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Coastal Marine Ecology among others.  My time was also spent constructing an experimental design for my thesis and working part time as a Pathways Student in Fish & Wildlife at BPA.  These accomplishments would have been very difficult without the scholarship I received last year. 

This summer I spent my time carrying out my experimental design which is aimed at assessing Pacific Lamprey passage time and use of the Cascades Island Lamprey Passage Structure (LPS) at Bonneville Dam.  The LPS recently had a natural exit pipe installed to avoid fish being trucked to a release site, as was the previous practice.  This project required a great deal of time, dedication, and networking and I was able to learn and gather information and data relevant to projects I hope to work with in the future at BPA.    

In the fall (September 2013) I will begin my final year in the master’s program.  Having taken a course-heavy first year, I will have more time this upcoming year to organize the data I collected this summer, analyze it, write a manuscript, and prepare to defend my thesis to my advisory committee to complete my Masters in Science in the upcoming spring (June 2014).  Again, this would be a very challenging journey without receiving this scholarship. 

This scholarship means so much more to me than just financial help; it promotes diversity in higher education.  As an enrolled member of the Tolowa Tribe of the Smith River Rancheria in Northern California, my culture has been a source of pride and inspiration for me throughout my life.  With this scholarship I am able to increase diversity in my department at PSU and find ways to incorporate and connect my culture with science and fellow students.  This summer I was able to make contact with an undergraduate Native student who is interested in Pacific Lamprey work and was able to include her in my sampling process.  I hope to serve as a role model for her in her studies and get involved more heavily with the PSU American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Chapter, as she serves as their president.  And finally, this scholarship means that there are a group of people who believe in my goals and are encouraging me to achieve them.  So once again, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all who made this opportunity possible.