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Published: June 26, 2019 Author: Staff reports
An Ohio University student who just completed her freshman year has been named the winner of a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education.

Delia “Deedee” Grantham, who wants to go into social work after receiving her degree, was notified recently of her win.

“I have never felt so relieved in my life,” Grantham told the Top Hat team upon being notified of the award. Watch the video of the notification here.

Top Hat, the leading active learning platform for higher education, awarded scholarships worth a combined $100,000 to five exceptional North American students for their academic achievements and the positive learning environments they helped foster.

“Our mission is to make teaching affordable, fun and effective,” said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO of Top Hat. “These five students exemplify what happens when professors and students embrace technology as a tool to provide a richer, more personalized and engaging learning experience.”

The 2019 Top Hat Scholarship student winners are:

  • $50,000 scholarship: Delia Grantham, Ohio University
  • $20,000 scholarship: Emma Rice, Michigan State University
  • $10,000 scholarship: Patryk Tomaszkiewicz, Texas A&M University
  • $10,000 scholarship: Hope Long, University of North Georgia
  • $10,000 scholarship: Nicole Blinn, Dalhousie University

These faculty-nominated scholarships will enable the students to continue their academic achievements and lay the foundation for their contributions to the broader community.

“Our first place winner just completed her freshman year,” said Silagadze. “As an in-state student at Ohio University, she’ll now be able to focus on her studies and pursue her interests without worrying about the financial burden of tuition payments.”

During her freshman year at Ohio University, first-place winner Grantham worked five days a week in addition to going to college. She plans to enter social work when she’s finished her undergrad degree.

“I would love to get the scholarship to be able to free my schedule so I can get more involved in helping other parts of the community,” she told Silagadze just before he revealed she’d won. “Athens, Ohio is a very impoverished county. I would love to go out and help people and serve meals — the after-school things I saw my classmates get to do. When I think about helping others, I get teary eyed because of how much I want to make a difference.”

Each student who received a scholarship saw material improvements in their academic performance as a result of using Top Hat’s interactive digital platform.

Top Hat has collaborated with Ohio University and the Office of Instructional Innovation to develop online resources to provide significant savings for students on the cost of textbooks and for improved accessibility and collaboration.

Brad Cohen, Senior Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation, said he was thrilled to see Top Hat’s top scholarship go to an OHIO student.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for one of our students who is truly looking to make a difference in the world,” Cohen said. “Our work with Top Hat has been focused on making the student experience an engaging, cost-effective one for all of our students, and for one of them to win this top award is a testament to the talent and passion our students and faculty bring to the table.”

More information about Top Hat’s other scholarship winners can be found here.