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Nichols, Heart of SSU scholarships awarded

Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. Scholar
2023-24 Recipient, Michelle Jones

Named after the founding president of Sonoma State University, The Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. Scholarship was established to honor a Sonoma State junior, senior, or graduate student who exemplifies distinguished scholarship and outstanding contributions to the university and community.

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones

Michelle Jones’ passion for reading began at the earliest of ages, when she insisted on learning to read ​books herself. ​She credits her freshman English teacher at Montgomery High with igniting the first spark in turning her fervor for the subject into a career goal.

“Although my desire to pursue a graduate degree in English literature was nearly suffocated under the debris of a turbulent late teens and early/mid twenties, an abundance of oxygen-rich enthusiasm was reintroduced by my English 1A instructor,” Michelle said. She completed her degree at SRJC and continued on the path to fulfilling her dreams of becoming a college English educator. 

Since transferring to Sonoma State in autumn of 2020, Michelle has completed her B.A. in English (Literature Concentration) and is now in her second year of SSU’s M.A. in English program, with an emphasis in Literary Criticism. Her area of specialization is Feminist Disability Studies in 20th and 21st century American literature. “This emphasis unites my passion for social justice with my personal identity (as a blind woman), and wraps it all up neatly with a bow of contemporary American literature,” she said.

Michelle currently works as a Teaching Associate in the SSU English Department and is also a writing tutor in SSU’s Writing Center. She will complete her M.A. in Spring 2025, with the intention of continuing her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in either English Literature or Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Heart of SSU Alumni Scholarship
2023-24 Recipient, Megan Bressel 

Established in 2015 by the SSU Alumni Association, this scholarship provides  a complete year of tuition for Sonoma State students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college. The scholarship recognizes students with strong academic performance who have demonstrated commitment to the campus and community and embody the spirit of Sonoma State.

Megan Bressel
Megan Bressel

Megan Bressel is a first-generation college student in her third year studying political science at Sonoma State. She was born and raised in Sonora, California, a rural small town in the Sierra Nevadas. Megan has been active on campus as a member of the Educational Opportunity and TRIO programs. She serves as the president of SSU Mock Trial, as an event director with Associate Student Productions, and is a member of Sonoma Senders rock climbing club. 

“In addition to my coursework, I spent a summer working as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C., for my home district’s congressman,” Bressel said. 

She says that she has had numerous opportunities to give back to her community as an Eagle Scout with Scouts BSA (The Boy Scouts of America) and as part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.  

“In my spare time, I operate a small business on various online reselling platforms. I am truly passionate about being able to operate my own enterprise while attending school,” Bressel said. 

Read more from Insights / Spring 2024