Posted on Mar 25, 2019

Cole Scholars Receive $10K Each Toward Doctoral Degree

Cole Scholars Receive $10K Each Toward Doctoral Degree

Three USF College of Nursing students have received the Hazel and Herschel Cole Scholarship, a $10,000 award going toward each scholar’s pursuit of a Doctor in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

Tram Pham, Morgan Butts, and Keshayla Young have each accepted the one-time need- and merit-based grant for nursing students pursuing a doctoral degree.

Set up in 2014, the scholarship is awarded to three DNP students annually, now with 15 recipients to date.

The trio said they were overwhelmed, but grateful for their newfound funding.

Butts, who pays her own tuition, said she panicked after receiving an email about a change in her financial aid.

“I looked into it and saw a new scholarship and the steps to securing it, and I thought that it could not be right. I quickly emailed the committee at the College of Nursing, and I was assured it was correct,” she said. “This scholarship was unexpected and provided a great sigh of relief to us all.”

That relief was felt by Pham, as well, who is a full-time nurse and student. Set to graduate from the DNP program in May after dreaming of getting her doctorate since age 11, Pham says she now has the funds to finish her schooling.

“So many people have to work full time to study and work to supplement tuition,” she added. “To have someone donate such a generous amount of money means the world to me.”

“I’m so grateful, so overwhelmed with joy. I hope the donors know how much it means,” she said.

Butts said viewing the list of past Cole Scholarship winners added to her sense of disbelief.

Young also felt a connection to those involved with the decision-making, lauding her professors and the rest of the College of Nursing staff who have supported her.

“It says that people other than your friends and families believe in you,” she said. “There are strangers that believe in you and see good in the world.”

The scholarship is managed by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, a local philanthropic organization that oversees donors, grants and endowments for a five-county region.

Dr. Herschel Cole (Photo provided by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay)


Barbara Ann Cole started the scholarship endowment to honor her parents, Dr. Herschel and Hazel Cole. When Dr. Herschel Cole moved to Tampa in 1939, he became the only orthopedic specialist in the city for many years. Hazel Cole was a school teacher.

Hazel Cole (Photo provided by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay)

Barbara Ann Cole, who worked for Tampa Electric Company for 33 years, was her parents’ caregiver. When they passed away, she created a scholarship that blends education and health care, and addresses the nationwide shortage of nurses, as a way to commemorate their legacy.

Story by Alex Hooper, USF College of Nursing