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The African-American Leadership Award


This award is for African-American students who will be incoming freshmen at Utah State University in the Fall 2019. Two $1,200 scholarships will be awarded. Awards will be divided equally ($600) over two semesters for the 2019-20 school year. The scholarship recipients will be notified in May 2019.

Application open: March 1, 2019. Deadline for application: April 22, 2019 at 5:00pm.

Who can apply:

The African-American Leadership Award is for African-American students who are graduating high school seniors, with preference given to students who are from the state of Utah. Applicants need to have demonstrated leadership in their high schools and in their communities and show special talent and potential for continued leadership.

How to apply:

Please submit the following:
1. Application Cover Sheet and Certification 
2. Responses - address the two topics indicated on the scholarship application.

3. Resume - a summary of academic recognition, GPA, ACT/SAT scores, leadership involvement, community service, and any other information relevant to this specific scholarship application.
4. Transcript - a current high school transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) with a record of ACT and SAT scores.

Please submit your application simply stapled (not in a folder or binder). Be sure to include your contact information: mailing addresses (both school and permanent addresses), email, and phone number. Selection of recipient shall be made by the scholarship committee of the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

For more information, please email, call 435-797-0299, or stop by Old Main Room 339. Applications must be received by 5:00pm on April 22, 2019, and recipients will be notified in May. Submit all application materials to:

African-American Leadership Award
Mountain West Center for Regional Studies
Utah State University
UMC 0735 - Old Main Room 339
Logan, UT 84322-0735

Applications may also be dropped off in Room 338 or 339 in Old Main on the USU campus.


Paul A. and Sylvia M. Jones

Paul A. Jones was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. He attended Utah State from 1981 to 1984 on a football scholarship and also participated in track and field. He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Utah State. Of his time at Utah State he states, "USU was the best thing that could have happened to me. It took an inner-city kid who was ‘rough around the edges’ and helped develop him personally, spiritually and intellectually.” Paul also earned a doctorate in education and human resource studies with a concentration in educational leadership from Colorado State University. His professional career included time at Utah State as the school relations recruiter where he focused on diversity and recruitment of minority high school students. His career in higher education has been spent in Utah, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia. He joined Georgia College in 2002 and continued to demonstrate his capacity for leadership by taking on more responsibilities when needed, including his willingness to serve as interim president during an important transitional period. In November of 2015, he was names as the President of Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia. Paul has continued to serve in his community through several memberships and leadership positions including the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia. 

Sylvia M. Jones was born in San Antonio, Texas. Coming from a military family, she lived overseas for most of her teenage years. During the middle of her junior year of high school, her father was transferred to Salt Lake City, where she learned of Utah State University. She met Paul at USU and was involved in numerous activities. With support from the administration, they started the USU Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, one of her fondest memories as an Aggie. Sylvia earned a bachelor’s in economics in 1987 from Utah State and an MBA from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Sylvia’s career has been in the financial education industry. She worked on campuses in Colorado and Georgia as financial aid director, before taking a position with Wells Fargo Bank as an assistant vice president-account executive in the Education Financial Services. She is involved with many regional and state higher education organizations. Every year she spends many volunteer hours in her community conducting presentations at high schools, as well as working with several students and parents as they navigate the admissions and financial aid process, which can be daunting and overwhelming for many first generation families.