Campus Life

UWF Military Veterans Resource Center awards six scholarships

The University of West Florida’s Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) recently awarded six scholarships to military veterans and families of veterans.

Two of the scholarships came from private donations, and four were awarded through a donation from the First Command Educational Fund (FCEF), a nonprofit, public charity dedicated to improving financial literacy through scholarships and education.

The recipients are as follows:

  •  Abraham Makil, a Navy veteran, was awarded the Brigadier General and Mrs. Michael L. Ferguson Scholarship. He will receive $2,000 for the 2012-13 academic year.
  • Rebecca Zittel, the dependent of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, received the Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship, a recurring award of $5,000 per academic year.
  • Michelle Griffin, the widow of an Air Force veteran, was awarded one of four $2,000 FCEF Scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year. The other recipients include Kelly Stokesbary, the dependent of an Air Force veteran; Melissa Taijeron, an active duty Air Force spouse; and Claire Dunow, the dependent of a Navy veteran.

Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson created an endowment to provide scholarships for veteran dependents 11 years ago. Until this year, the scholarships were managed by the College of Business. Management of these scholarships was transferred to the MVRC after its opening in October 2011.

This was the first year the Buzz and Larue Ambersley and FCEF scholarships were awarded. The director of the MVRC, Marc Churchwell, worked with the UWF Foundation Inc. and First Command Financial Planning District Advisor Dave Brooks to coordinate the new awards, which will make a “significant impact” for those who receive them, he said.

“These scholarships fit very nicely into the center’s overall mission: to provide transition assistance to military veterans and support for their families,” Churchwell said. “Many of these scholarships focused on dependents of military veterans. Most of the time, dependents and spouses don’t have funding resources. We are very grateful to these scholarship donors for their support of our veterans and their families.”

The primary goal of the MVRC is helping military and veteran students successfully make the transition to campus life, through academic advising, tutoring, counseling and other services. For more information about the MVRC, visit