Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship

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Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship Fund


The Women's Studies Program was saddened when our beloved graduate student and former teaching assistant, Austin Sawicki, died on May 29, 2008.

Austin had completed an MA in philosophy and was working on a second MA in Anthropology. He had many interests, including cognitive science, feminism, and linguistics. He was unfailingly generous, helpful, and good-natured. A recipient of the Mothers Memorial Scholarship, he also participated in many campus events and organized a conference for graduate students in philosophy in spring 2008. 

The Women's Studies program has worked with the departments of Philosophy and Anthropology, as well as NIU Foundation to create a memorial scholarship for Austin Sawicki.  If you would like to contribute to the Austin Sawicki Scholarship Fund, download and fill out the contribution form, and mail it in with your contribution.  You may also send checks made out to the NIU Foundation, with "Austin Sawicki" in the subject line, to the Women's Studies Program, Reavis 103, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115. 

Scholarship Criteria

The Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship Fund is established to provide scholarships to upper division and graduate students at NIU who make major contributions to NIU Women’s Studies and/or lives of women at NIU and to honor the memory of Austin Sawicki.

Specific criteria for this fund are:

  • The recipient(s) must be a junior, senior or graduate student and have completed a minimum of one year at NIU. Recipients do not have to be Women’s Studies majors, minors, or graduate certificate students.
  • The recipient(s) shall have made major contributions to NIU Women’s Studies and/or the lives of women at NIU, have exceptional intellectual curiosity, and have interdisciplinary academic interests. Additionally, the recipient shall exhibit other qualities that Austin Sawicki possessed, including exuberance, enthusiasm, compassion, and a commitment to the success of others as demonstrated by her/his activities, service, coursework, and interactions with the NIU community.
  • The recipient(s) must have a minimum 2.5 GPA for undergraduates and 3.0 GPA for graduate students.

Application Process


Applicants must present:

  • Their NIU transcript;
  • a personal statement describing how the applicant has satisfied the specific criteria listed above;
  • three letters of recommendation from members of the NIU community. (Applicants should take into consideration the interdisciplinary aspect of this award in selecting letter writers.)
  • Male students are encouraged to apply.  

For additional information or to submit applications, please contact: Women’s Studies Program, Reavis 103, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115. Phone: 815-753-1038. Email the Women's Studies Program at

*All scholarship(s) awarded shall be for one academic year.

**In the event a recipient withdraws from the University, the remaining funds allocated for the scholarship shall be granted to another qualified student.

***Northern Illinois University is an equalopportunity/affirmative action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, status based on the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), or status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran. Further, the Constitution and Bylaws of Northern Illinois University provides for equal treatment regardless of political views or affiliation, and sexual orientation.

Congratulations to all of our Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship Winners!

2014 Winner: Gladys Sanchez, B.A. student in Special Education)

2013 Winner: Rhiannon Catherwood (Ph.D. candidate in English, Women's Studies student)

2012 Winner: Natalie Santiago-Bidne (M.A. student in English, Women's Studies Graduate Certificate student)

 Cortney Barko with President John Peters

2010 Winner: Cortney Barko (Ph.D. candidate in English, Women's Studies Graduate Certificate student)

Josh Adair

2009 Winner: Josh Adair (Ph.D. candidate in English, Women's Studies Graduate Certificate Student)