Student Spotlight

RaeAnn Walters

By Hannah Horan

EVERY YEAR, GENEROUS DONORS AND ALUMNI choose to provide funding for a variety of scholarship opportunities at Central. These scholarships are awarded to students who have gone above and beyond in their education and involvement within the University of Central Oklahoma and the community – like RaeAnn Walters.

Walters is new to the Broncho family, as she is a freshman pursuing dual degrees – forensic science through the W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute and criminal justice through the College of Liberal Arts. The Guthrie, Oklahoma, native gives credit to her professors who have helped her navigate her first year of college at Central.

“UCO has given me a beautiful community and amazing classes and teachers that have helped me through every step of the way. It has also given me a lot of pride in myself through my work and studies,” Walters said.

Outside of the classroom, Walters is involved on campus and in the community. She is a member of the UCO Student Programming Board, where she assists with the coordination of events for Central students. She also volunteers at the Central Pantry, as well as Broncho Bites. The Central Pantry, UCO’s on-campus food pantry is open to all students, faculty and staff and relies solely on volunteers for staffing. Broncho Bites is an on-campus food recovery program that reduces food waste and provides meals to the Central community at no cost.

Due to her academic success and campus involvement, Walters received the Parman Foundation scholarship earlier this year. The Robert A. Parman Foundation Scholarship is awarded annually to students who excel academically at UCO. The Parman Foundation is a longtime supporter of Central.

With the scholarship, Walters was able to spend less time working and more time focusing on her studies and extracurriculars. She has been able to dedicate more time to volunteering and has had some financial stress taken off her and her parents’ shoulders. She says she felt an overwhelming sense of joy and gratefulness to the donors who have made this focus possible.

After graduation, Walters hopes to work as a detective or in a forensic lab, providing insight on casework, specifically homicide cases. She says that her ability to graduate on time is due to the generosity of Central donors.

“I would like to thank the donor for this incredible gift they have given me and tell them that it will not go to waste,” Walters said. “They have given me another foothold to reach my goals and I will forever be thankful.”