Local Scholarships







Each year, the scholarship committee selects women from West Valley College who are transferring to a college or university in order to continue their education in math, science technology, engineering (STEM) or related fields.  A printable brochure is attached.


Scholarship Donations

Donations in support of these young women are always welcome and appreciated. Checks may be written to: ISPF-LosGatos-Saratoga AAUW Local Scholarship Committee.

2019 Scholarship Awards

Local scholarship recipient Tzelzin Hernandez, shown with Mara Otlans, Marilyn Fuller and Julie Stevens.

The Local Scholarship Committee met on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, to review and select the recipients of the AAUW Transfer Scholarship for 2019-2020. We are extremely pleased to introduce the four winners.

THALIA BILLAWALA is attending Davis this fall to study cell biology. Her career goal is to become a neonatologist. She has long had an interest in medicine, and was able to attend courses at West Valley College while still in high school. She was able to shadow an OB/GYN in the doctor’s office. Later, during her recent years at West Valley College, she was one of the WVC students who started a Pre-Health Sciences Club to help members network and prepare themselves in the pursuit of health-care related majors. She was also a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, a community service club. This scholarship will help offset future student debt.

TAHANI FAISAL plans to attend San Jose State University this fall to study Communicative Disorders and Sciences with the goal of becoming a Speech Pathologist. From her volunteer work at the Child Development Center at West Valley College, Tahani developed a passion for helping children. Her own learning difficulties caused her to take a class to learn how to better assist others, and then to work as a tutor at West Valley College. This scholarship will help ease the financial burden on her family while she is at SJSU.

TZELZIN HERNANDEZ is attending UC Santa Cruz this fall to study cell and developmental biology. Her career goal is to get a medical degree and practice as an OB/GYN. She also plans to minor in music. Tzelzin has done a lot of volunteer work in her community and some of that included her work associated with the Mission College Symphony. She was one of the WVC students who formed the Pre-Health Sciences Club at West Valley College to help and encourage one another in their future studies, and was a STEM Peer Tutor assisting fellow students. Due to a difficult family life, which has caused her to take on many responsibilities, which would challenge any full time student, the financial assistance from this scholarship will be very helpful.

MIA MUNEMITSU hopes to attend UCLA this fall to study mathematics or economics with a career goal in computer science or data analysis. Her love of mathematics began in high school and has grown while at WVC, where she gets new challenges. She was active in sports in high school as well as an honor society. While at WVC she has worked as a peer tutor and also as an assistant coach for the high school badminton team; both have taught her better communication skills and patience. This scholarship will ease some of her financial burden.

There were seven applicants for the scholarship this year, and it is always difficult for the committee to select the winners because they all have outstanding academic records and laudable career goals. Our branch members’ donations and the funds from the Authors’ Luncheon this year have provided enough funding to award four scholarships of $1,500 each.  Thank you for your generosity in giving these students extra support as they continue their education at university in the fall and pursue their STEM career goals!

2018 Scholarship Awards

The Local Scholarship Committee met last month to review and select the recipients of the AAUW Transfer Scholarship for 2017-2018. We are extremely pleased to introduce the three winners, each of whom has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship upon transfer this fall.

MEHAR JAISWAL – Her goal is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University, where she will begin studying this fall. She graduated from Silver Creek HS and has excelled in her physics and mathematics courses at West Valley College. Her passion outside of her studies and work, is as a long term volunteer at an enrichment center for youth. There she helps the children with their homework, carefully explaining and reinforcing math, and other concepts as needed. As an international student, she faces higher university fees, and limited options regarding where she can work, so this scholarship will relieve some of the financial burden of her studies.

Marilyn Fuller with  Samira Sebt and Mehar Jaiswal, 2018 Scholarship recipients. (Not shown is Sara Valencia)

Marilyn Fuller with 2018 Scholarship recipient, Mehar Jaiswal

SARA VALENCIA – With an eye to go into Nursing, her goal is to study Biology. She would eventually like to become a Family Care Practitioner or Physician. Her main focus in life has always been to help others. This passion is evidenced by her many community volunteer activities which include tutoring children and teens, as well as her paid position at Kaiser Permanente, first as an intern and now, after a promotion, as an Administrative Services Coordinator. This scholarship will ease some of the financial burden of her family, which includes other college bound siblings.

SAMIRA SEBT – Her goal is a degree in Bioengineering with an eye toward a career in advancing medical devices such as prosthetics, improved hearing aids, or creating new drug delivery systems. She was able to put into action her knowledge of physics, from her studies thus far, as an intern with Nauto, which is a company dedicated to developing devices to monitor distracted drivers. Samira has demonstrated her deep dedication to her studies with her 4.0 GPA while at West Valley College. As an independent woman, she can make good use of the financial assistance this scholarship offers.

Thank you for your generosity through individual donations and funds from the English Tea which give these students extra support as they continue their education at university in the fall in pursuit of their STEM career goals!


About the Committee

The committee is composed of educators or those who have worked in educational institutions.

  • Marilyn Fuller, Chair –  taught elementary and middle schools at three different CA districts for 34 years, the last 15 in Campbell Elementary School District.
  • Audry Lynch –  taught preschool, elementary, high school; 32 years as a counselor at an intermediate school and 25 years as a part time English instructor at Mission College.
  • Mara Otlans – has a finance background; worked 15 years as CFO for home builder responsible for financial reporting, strategic planning, marketing, accounting, and personnel.
  •  Karen Pock – taught fifth grade in the Foothill Elementary School, Saratoga Union School District for 36 years.
  • Diane Priest – taught school for 33 years and retired from the Saratoga Elementary School District.
  •  Julie Stevens,  – worked as an administrative assistant in the Department of Civil Environmental Engineering at Stanford.
  •  Sumi Tanabe – worked at West Valley, District Office of the Chancellor and retired as a manager at Mission College and taught part time Computer Applications for 20 years.


Chair: Marilyn Fuller, mdfuller1@aol.com