Dr. Sonia L. Blackman Endowed Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Fund


Student Disability Resource Ct D01178


Graduate or Undergraduate Student Support

Dr. Sonia L. Blackman earned her PhD in Psychology from UC Riverside in 1980. She taught at Cal Poly Pomona for 21 years and became Professor Emerita of Behavioral Sciences in 2001.

Dr. Blackman chose UC Riverside over other universities because it had formal institutional services for disabled students. What she had not expected were the informal assets like the library, administrators, faculty, and the way people treated her as she walked across campus.

Sonia recalls the following experience with the UCR library: "In my classes, a professor might mention 10-20 articles in passing. We were expected to pull the volumes with the articles from the shelves, take them to the printer for copying, return the volume and get the next onw. Clearly, this would be a task that would greatly burden my physical capacity. When I went to the call desk they asked me to list the volumes and articles I needed, and then replied, 'give us 30 minutes.' I went to rest. When I came back, there was a stack of reprints waiting for me. Tears filled my eyes; I could not believe that they had completed the physical task for me."

There were many other instances of Sonia receiving help when it wasn't expected. Sonia finished her M.A. and PhD in three years and stayed an additional year to gain teaching experience. The formal and informal help, as well as scholarships that she received at UC Riverside, allowed her earn her degree. Her hope is that this scholarship will allow someone else to succeed, and perhaps in the future they will fund their own scholarship.

Fund Purpose: This fund shall be used to provide student support for undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines with challenging disabilities.

Criteria and Selection Process:
The application and selection process shall be determined and administered by the director of the UCR Student Disability Resource Center (or its future equivalent) or his/her designee.

The scholarship shall be used to provide support for undergraduate or graduate students with disabilities. The scholarship shall be awarded based on merit and financial need.

It is the Donor's intent that a determination of merit be based on a comprehensive evaluation of an applicant's social and academic achievements. Beyond just GPA, students should be assessed on contributions such as holding campus leadership positions, participation in clubs or activities, advocacy work, service or community commitments, research activity, or other extracurricular or experiential obligations.

It is the Donor's intent that this scholarship shall benefit disabled students needing assistance with the costs associated with tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, or other student basic needs.

In years when there is no candidate who meets the criteria, awards will be held until the following year.
Eff. 10/31/2021 - Converted to true endowment from fund number 6I0084.