Each year the Iris Chapter of ABWA (American Business Women’s Association) presents a scholarship to a student who is pursuing a degree in business or a business-related field on the University of Georgia Griffin Campus. This year the scholarship was open to students in the Terry College of Business, those pursing a degree in Agribusiness or in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The 2020 recipient of the $750 scholarship is Melissa Slaughter, who is currently pursuing a degree in Consumer Economics from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Slaughter stated she was shocked to find out she was this years’ recipient, but she is very grateful for having been selected.

“I am beyond honored. Working, living, and being a part of Spalding County has enhanced my life. I am very thankful all the opportunities God has blessed me with. If you believe then you will achieve!”

Before beginning her quest to earn a degree in Consumer Economics, Slaughter earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Wesleyan College, which made her the first person in her family to obtain a college degree. So, therefore, what made her want to go back to school for another degree?

“I’m left handed. All my life I’ve questioned why people do what they do. Consumer Economics begs the question, why do people buy what they buy and what at what cost did they choose to make their decision? Was it based on need, emotion, addiction, or greed,” said Slaughter, noting that her studies help to answer those questions. Once she earns her Bachelors of Science in Consumer Economics, she plans to work towards obtaining a Masters Degree.

The ABWA chapter has sponsored this scholarship for students of the UGA Griffin Campus for many years and the organization was thrilled to present Slaughter with the grant. Wanda Cronic Howell, Education Committee Chair of the ABWA Iris Chapter, stated the organization values greatly their affiliation with the UGA Griffin Campus which has partnered for many years through the ongoing scholarship program. They were thrilled to continue the tradition again this year.

“The most current recipient, Melissa Slaughter, continues that tradition of academic excellence and community leadership. We are proud to help this most deserving student fulfill her lifetime goals of service to others.”

ABWA Iris Chapter President Rita Johnson echoed Howell’s sentiments and offered her congratulations.

“Congratulations to Melissa Slaughter upon receiving this years ABWA scholarship! We appreciate your hard work and dedication as you move towards a bright and successful future.”

Chrystal McDowell, Assistant Director of Student Affairs at UGA Griffin, described Melissa as the epitome of a community leader and someone she is proud to see awarded the ABWA scholarship.

“Countless ideas has Melissa shared to help others on campus and throughout the Griffin community live better lives,” said McDowell. “She volunteers much of her time serving others.  She works hard at everything she commits to and enjoys seeing children learn about the value to 4H and other great resources found in the State of Georgia.  Melissa has the personality that will rally folks to work together for a common cause.  She will undoubtedly represent ABWA well as a scholarship recipient.

When Slaughter is not working towards her degree, she enjoys teaching Zumba and spending time with her 12-year-old son and her one-eyed, rescue cat named Wink. She prides herself on being the first “dancing mater” at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Griffin and is currently employed at the University of Georgia Griffin Campus in the Center for Food Safety.