The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida is a large public university that serves nearly 50,000 students, including undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and doctoral level degrees. USF takes many different steps to fulfill its dedication to “student access, learning, and success through a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and learner-centered research environment incorporating a global curriculum,” as well as “research and scientific discovery to strengthen the economy, promote civic culture and the arts, and design and build sustainable communities through the generation, dissemination, and translation of new knowledge across all academic and health-related disciplines.”
One important component of achieving its mission includes the scholarships offered through USF. These scholarships are available through a number of channels, including the local community. The Dr. Bijan Vasigh Scholarship for Political, Economic and Legal Advocacy, for instance, was established in 2016 by criminal defense attorney Maj Vasigh. In the spring of 2016 and 2017, Vasigh funded this $1,000 scholarship so it could be awarded to one Persian American graduate student in the field of law, economics, or social justice with stellar academics and a determination to affect change, reform, advance democracy, or bring social justice to those who need it most.
As one of the most elite criminal defense attorneys in Tampa, Attorney Vasigh has a passion for social justice and hopes to encourage and support change within the community by funding the Dr. Bijan Vasigh Scholarship for Political, Economic and Legal Advocacy. Last year, the 2016 scholarship was awarded to a female economics Ph.D. student at the University of South Florida, and this year it has been awarded to a teaching assistant at USF.
Both women met and exceeded the scholarship requirements with strong GPA scores, superb academic and professional references, strong community leadership and volunteerism, enrollment as a full-time student in a graduate study program, and a desire to act as part of a mentorship network for future scholarship recipients. With the help of the $1,000 scholarship provided to them through Attorney Vasigh’s funding, these recipients will have a greater ability to passionately pursue work in public service, civil service, or non-profit sectors upon graduation.