Three students receive Adia J. Palmer Memorial Scholarship

Three students receive Adia J. Palmer Memorial Scholarship

The Detroit Mercy Libraries, along with the Titan Equity Nourish Network and Varsity News, are happy to announce the first recipients of the Adia J. Palmer Memorial Scholarship for the 2023-24 school year: Salihom Kidane, Joyce Olatunde and Jennifer Raptoplous.

The scholarship was made possible through donations from UDM students, faculty and staff, as well as the friends and family of Adia J. Palmer. Palmer was a senior majoring in Communication Studies, who also worked as a library student assistant, TENN volunteer and as a Varsity News writer and photographer, and passed away unexpectedly on March 2022.

Olatunde is a Nursing major who hails from southwest Nigeria and has been volunteering with TENN and University Ministry since early 2022. While adjusting to a new country and culture has had its challenges, Olatunde, the eldest of four in her family, credits volunteering and service with being transformative.

“One thing I learned is that community service isn’t about joining a group to volunteer, but our time and attention matters as well to the people,” she said. “To me, serving is a constant effort. … No act of kindness is too small, even if it’s just holding the door for someone. We need to understand that small acts of kindness can influence our choices. This is why any act of service, however small, can never really be wasted.”

Similarly, Kidane, a Biology/Dental Hygiene major and library assistant, is “passionate about improving the world through service and helpful acts.” In addition to volunteering with TENN, Give 360 and Food Gathers, Kidane has participated in TRIO Student Support Services, the Honors Program, First-Generation Network and Art Club. In addition to lowering her financial responsibilities, Kidane expects receiving the scholarship will give her the “time and space” to focus on what she loves, namely her education, giving back to the community and the University, and exploring her creative side.

Raptoplous, a Communication Studies and Philosophy major, volunteers with TENN, is an active member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, the Creative Writing Club and the Creative Writing Collective, and writes for the Varsity News. She credits these activities with teaching her “what ‘community’ means, and what it could look like.”

“Through journalism, I want to help others foster stronger connections and bonds to the world around them,” Raptoplous said. “Recognizing when someone needs help and implementing new solutions to solve problems like food injustice, I would like to create and spread what I call, ‘positive impact journalism’ to highlight the everyday, positive stories that happen around us.”

Congratulations to these three inspirational Titans! We can’t wait to see how you change our community and the world for the better!

The three recipients of the Adia J. Palmer scholarship -- Salihom Kidane, Joyce Olatunde and Jennifer Raptoplous.
(From left) Salihom Kidane, Joyce Olatunde and Jennifer Raptoplous.