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Spotlight: Harris Awarded P.J. Briggs Scholarship

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Spotlight: Harris Awarded P.J. Briggs Scholarship

Date Published:
Friday, May 16, 2014

Many UNC Charlotte students turn to Recreational Services as a way to escape the stresses they face in their daily academic lives. Fitness classes, intramurals and club sports are just a few examples of programs Recreational Services provide to students that underscore its commitment to inspiring the lifetime appreciation of a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle. However, scholarship and academic success remains central to both its, and the University’s, mission.

The P.J. Briggs Memorial Scholarship is a $4,000 scholarship provided through the Department of Recreational Services to rising juniors and seniors, who are actively involved in Recreational Services, maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and hold a part-time job.

The P.J. Briggs Memorial Scholarship was established to honor P.J. Briggs, a former student who was heavily involved in Recreational Services while at UNC Charlotte but unfortunately lost his life in a tragic automobile accident. The scholarship, established by the Briggs family, helps support the role Recreational Services plays in fostering healthy living and academic excellence in college students.

This year, Recreational Services student employee Virtuous Harris was named the P.J. Briggs Scholarship recipient at the department’s spring banquet.

Harris is the eldest of seven children and the first female in her family to go to a four-year accredited university. While juggling a full course load, she works two part-time jobs to help support her education. "I applied for this scholarship to help me and my family," said Harris.

Kemet Gatchell, assistant director for promotions and special events with recreational services, said, "Virtuous was chosen because of her outstanding essay and her devotion to intramural sports, sport clubs and fitness."

Harris is an exercise science major who is minoring in public health; she anticipates graduating May 2015. In addition to working as a sports official for recreational services, she serves as a Niner Guide for incoming students. Harris is involved in the Minority Association for Premedical Students (MAPS) and the Sports Official Association.