October 12, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, email@example.com
Shannon M. Mooney, a graduate student at California State University, Bakersfield, has been chosen as one of 12 student winners of the 2005/06 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The systemwide award provides $3,000 scholarships to financially needy students who demonstrate superior academic performance and outstanding volunteer community service. “These outstanding students have overcome profound personal challenges to achieve academic success,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.
The awards are funded by personal contributions from the CSU Board of Trustees and an endowment created by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Since its inception in 1974, the award has honored 120 students.
The awards are competitive. Only one student from each CSU campus is nominated for the scholarship, which the trustees award after the nominees make presentations. Only 12 of the 23 nominees were awarded scholarships.
Mooney was a student in the master of science program in counseling psychology when she was awarded the scholarship, but has since changed her focus to becoming a teacher. “I discovered that I didn’t want the end goal anymore, which was giving people therapy every day of my life,” she said.
“You’re dealing with the heart and the mind. I started talking to people and said to myself, ‘You know, this isn’t what I want to do every day of my life.’”
She found, instead, that she has a real passion for teaching. And far from hindering her, her counseling psychology classes enhanced her abilities as a teacher. “I have been working in the classroom for the last three years, so I thought why not do this because I really enjoy this. So that is my new path. I’ve looked at the end goal, and the end goal is good. It’s what I want to do.”
Mooney said her third-grade teacher was the inspiration for her to pursue a teaching career. “She believed in me more than I did at the time,”
Mooney said. “Her gift to me was the gift of belief. I know that I can provide that. I know that the gift that was given to me I can give back. I plan to believe in my students, but I will have high expectations, because I believe they can rise to that level.”
Her change in majors has not affected her scholarship, she said. The scholarship’s parameters require her to be a full-time student. She’s taking four classes, “working on my pre-requisites for the multiple-subject credential. I’m aiming at teaching K-6.”
Mooney graduated from East Bakersfield High School. She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo before earning her bachelor’s degree from Bethany College in August 2004.
She then enrolled at CSUB to pursue a master’s degree, and subsequently her teaching credential.
Coming to CSUB seemed a natural thing for Mooney: her husband, Brett Mooney, graduated and earned his credential from CSUB, and now teaches at John L. Prueitt Elementary School in Wasco; her sister, Allison Crumpton, graduated from CSUB in 1990 as an English major.