Morgan State University junior Carisse Lansiquot is the recipient of the 2015 NextGen Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually by P.E.R.K. Consulting, a minority-owned, Beltsville, Md.-based advisory firm, to a deserving international or non-citizen student pursuing higher education. Lansiquot, who transferred to Morgan from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and had to beat out a competitive field of scholarship applicants hailing from 24 different countries, is only the second recipient of this award.
A native of Saint Lucia, an island nation in the eastern Caribbean, Lansiquot came to Morgan to major in chemistry. She now maintains a 4.0 GPA and serves as an alumni director for the Delta Gamma Chapter of the Tau Sigma Honor Society. When not in class or hitting the books, she works in the Dixon Research Center, serving as assistant for the Aslan Research Group. The group is headed by Kadir Aslan, Ph.D., assistant dean for research and graduate studies and professor of chemistry in Morgan’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.
However, despite her outstanding academic achievements, Lansiquot found securing funding for her education to be challenging because of her non-citizen status.
“Growing up in a single family home with just my mom after the passing of my father, we didn’t have the resources to pay for me to go away to college. So I had to look to other sources for assistance,” said Lansiquot. “But in doing so, I soon discovered how difficult it was for international students to qualify for funds to use to attend college in the United States.”
In doing her own online research to find available support, she discovered a recently introduced, local resource. The creation of the NextGen Scholarship program began when the president of P.E.R.K. Consulting, Andrea Sawyer, became aware of the lack of resources available to international students. Sawyer, who was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, found it troubling that many deserving international students lacked access to higher education funding.
After her graduation from an HBCU, Sawyer vowed that she would continue to “pay it forward” to others, whenever she could. As a result, she created the NextGen Scholarship Fund to provide monetary assistance to international and non-citizen students residing in or attending a college or university in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. This October, Sawyer honored the latest recipient of the scholarship in person, when her company hosted its annual Embracing YOU Women’s Conference.
Since coming to Morgan, Lansiquot has kept busy with her studies and research projects. She credits her work ethic to her mother in Saint Lucia, who frequently tells her that, “Hard work accompanied by faith pays off.” Lansiquot is a role model for her peers and other young women who wish to pursue STEM-related degrees. After she completes her undergraduate degree program in chemistry, her plan is to attend pharmaceutical college and later pursue a career as a pharmacist. She is preparing now to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test.
When asked why she opted to leave her former university and transfer to Morgan, she said, “In addition to being a less expensive option, Morgan offered more of a sense of community and intimate setting, as well as an attractive teacher-to-student ratio.”
The decision to come to Morgan has placed her on a path to achieve her goals and more.