Mitchell College Awards Inaugural George Floyd Scholarships

Mitchell College recently awarded four of its students the inaugural George Floyd Scholarship, recognizing their leadership ability and desire to effect social change. The students – all juniors or seniors studying in the Human Services core, with concentrations in criminal process and behavioral sciences/psychology – received $2500 each for the 2020-21 academic year. Recipients include Emil Cortorreal of New London, Conn.; Desmond Knowles of Indianapolis, Ind.; Dylan Radovich of Groton, Conn.; and Stephanie Zavala of Norwalk, Conn.
“Mitchell College celebrates diversity, fosters inclusion and promotes empathy. The George Floyd Scholarship aligns with these values, awarding these students for contributing to this culture on campus and aspiring to connect with their communities in an impactful way in their lives after college,” said Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, Mitchell College president.
Nominated by Mitchell faculty in the Human Services core for their positive contributions in the classroom, the four student recipients model Mitchell’s values by their desire to support, serve, protect and help others to build stronger communities and effect social change.
Junior Emil Cortorreal said, “Using the abilities I acquire at Mitchell, I aspire to bring positivity and generational change within my community, providing support within the criminal justice field to those who need and seek help for reintegration in our community.”
Senior Desmond Knowles seeks to change the U.S. criminal justice system that deals with racial and minority justice. He said, “When I graduate from Mitchell, I would like to serve the community by raising awareness and creating a network to help promote and solve this racial and minority justice issue.”
Senior Dylan Radovich plans to join a police homicide unit to help and protect people who have been impacted by violent crime. He said, “No one deserves to lose someone that you hold close and dear to violence. The people who commit such acts should be brought in to face their punishment and have their day in court. The pain and sorrow that a family faces when they lose family to an unnecessary killing is pain that no one should ever have to bear.”
Junior Stephanie Zavala aspires to be a high school guidance counselor. She said, “I see the need for more people working as guidance counselors who are willing to get to know their students and help them navigate adolescence, a developmental time with stressors and changes that can have a long-lasting effect on their lives. I would like my students in the future to know that they have someone that they can count on for those four years. I would also like to create an impact among the adolescent Latinx youth, demonstrating that there are people representative of them in their own community who genuinely understand them and their culture.”
The scholarship was established in memory of George Floyd, who died during an arrest by Minneapolis police, sparking protests in this nation and around the world. Mitchell College Trustee Peggy Flood initiated the scholarship, with support from Trustee Luci Arango. The scholarship provides financial support to junior or senior students of color in the Human Services core whose work in the classroom suggests they will continue to effect change in their community. Students are awarded the scholarship through faculty nominations.