Campus News Archives

Fine arts grads create scholarship for future students


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – Future students planning to study the visual arts at the University of Tennessee at Martin will have another potential source of scholarship funding available thanks to the 2017-18 student officers of the League of Striving Artists.

Rachel Melton, LSA president, and six other league officers established the League of Striving Artists Achievement Scholarship to help future visual arts students fund their education and artistic passion while at UT Martin. The annual award is the first student-organization-funded scholarship for visual arts students and will be open to those studying graphic design, art education and studio art beginning with the spring 2019 semester. The criteria will consider service to the chapter and the community as well as academic achievement and scholarship.

"The League of Striving Artists works to develop students through academics, service learning and leadership. This scholarship allows us to further that vision by supporting students who model academics and involvement, both on campus and locally,” said Melton. “This is the first mid-level scholarship for a student in the visual arts at UT Martin. I'm very enthusiastic about the impact I know it will have in helping our majors progress toward their goals and in serving as a recognition of involvement and leadership within the organization and on campus." 

Melton says the scholarship fund has been a long-term goal within the organization and is the result of fundraising over several years. While the scholarship requirements and initial funds were established by the leadership team, more than 50 members of LSA worked together to contribute.

“(This scholarship) is a great way for the work of past and current members to pay it forward to future students who are involved with the organization and in promoting the arts at UT Martin,” said Melton.

The 2017-18 LSA leadership team consisted of Melton, president; Caitlynn Dowland, vice president; Kaitlyn Frandsen, secretary; Olivia Gibson, treasurer; Tanya Chopra, historian; Benjamin Reiter, public relations; and Chelsey Gordon, service coordinator. Melton, Dowland and Chopra all received their bachelor’s degrees May 5 during UT Martin’s spring commencement ceremony. Jason Stout, associate professor of art, serves as the LSA faculty adviser and worked closely with the group to establish the new scholarship fund.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this scholarship can do so at by clicking “Contribute to UT Martin,” choosing “other funds not listed” and specifying “League of Striving Artists” in the description field.

For assistance donating, contact the UT Martin Office of Advancement at 731-881-7623 or email Mary Baker, senior development assistant, at


PHOTO ID: Pictured are League of Striving Artist representatives (front row, l-r) Tanya Chopra, of Bradford; Bailey Radnitzer, of Des Plaines, Illinois; Jordan Copeland, of Hornbeak; UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver; Chelsey Gordon, of Lyles; (back row) Jason Stout, associate professor of art and LSA faculty adviser; Rachel Melton, of Sharon; Caitlynn Dowland, of Bradford; Olivia Gibson, of Trenton; Violet Durden, of Bartlett; Dillon Faith, of Dover; Ben Reiter, of Huntingdon; Brannon Kelly, of Memphis; and Kaitlyn Frandsen, of Martin.

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