Scholarship giveaway benefits four undergraduates

Four lucky undergraduate students each received a $2,500 scholarship from the NAU Foundation during a giveaway at the CIT semifinal game when NAU Basketball defeated the NJIT Highlanders to advance to the championship.

Marissa Tutt

Abby Walker

Nicholas Startt

Antonio Trillizio

Marissa Tutt, a sophomore majoring in public health, was pleasantly surprised when her name was called during the basketball game and said the scholarship money will be a big help with tuition payments. Tutt is from the San Carlos Apache reservation where they are building a larger and better hospital. She hopes to return to the reservation to be a part of that process and give back to her community. After finishing her public health degree, Tutt plans to apply to the nursing program to become an RN. 

Abby Walker, a sophomore majoring in hotel and restaurant management, has been taking out loans every semester to pay for school and works at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale when she is home to maintain her savings. She said the scholarship would take a huge burden off of her shoulders and the timing couldn’t be better with her sister going to college next year. Walker is secretary for the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and plans to pursue a career in operations with a resort when she graduates.

Nicholas Startt, a marketing major, said the scholarship means a lot to him and his family. Startt grew up with a single, stay-at-home mother who had to put both him and his twin brother through college. He credited NAU’s Pledge program as one of the reasons they both came to the university so their family always knew how much to budget for tuition. Startt is involved in a fraternity on campus and serves as the vice president of Academic Affairs for the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University.

Antonio Trillizio, a freshman biology major, said the scholarship would help with funding he needs in addition to his student loans. Trillizio chose to come to NAU because he loved the campus during his visit and was looking to experience something new. He said he’s excited for his future at the university because higher education is an opportunity to learn a lot and explore his interests. He has always had a fascination with science and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in order to become a physical therapist.

Every year, the NAU Foundation supports students with scholarships and investments in technology, support services and academic endeavors including research. The NAU Foundation’s Only at NAU Campaign is fortified by donations from alumni, employees and friends of Northern Arizona University.