Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20 takes women’s leadership seriously. In addition to her studies in fashion communication and digital filmmaking at Stephens, she is the visual information intern at Truman VA hospital, the editor-in-chief of Stephens Life, diversity chair of the Student Government Association and vice president of scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa.

Now, she’s been recognized for her accomplishments by the Columbia Women’s Network. Krista Kippenberger, the 2019-2020 Women’s Network chair, presented Wedman Alfaro with the Carrie D. Francke Scholarship, an award for women who are Boone County residents and students of at least sophomore status at Stephens College, the University of Missouri, Columbia College, William Woods University, Central Methodist University, Bryan University or Moberly Area Community College. Candidates must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and are given primary consideration for financial need.

Women’s Network director Brandi Spurling said Wedman Alfaro’s application stood out from an incredibly deserving batch, citing her ambitious school involvement, stellar grades, and the awards and accolades she has received in her short time of pursuing her degree. 

“Aurola has detailed her passion for lifting up women and the influence that strong women have had on her journey (especially during her time at a women’s college),” Spurling said. “Women’s Network hopes that she will continue making an impact in other young women’s lives as well. 

“We hope the scholarship will alleviate a bit of the financial pressure that comes with college, so she can continue shaping her bright future in the fashion industry.”

For Wedman Alfaro, the importance of women supporting each other can’t be stressed enough. 

“In every one of my roles I have the opportunity to work alongside strong, talented women,” she said. “This scholarship will be a huge help with my school expenses, but beyond the monetary value, it is an inspiration for me.

“I want to continue to grow personally and professionally and support other women along the way. When I graduate, I would like to work in communications (photography, graphic design and writing) and I plan to stay involved with the women's community in Columbia. I would like to join Women's Network and, in the future, maybe even be a mentor.”

Ellen Morris, director of the Center for Career and Professional Development at Stephens College, believes that Wedman Alfaro is an excellent choice for the Carrie D. Francke Scholarship.

“I’m proud of everything Aurola has accomplished in her college career and what I know she will continue to achieve in her senior year,” Morris said. “Joining and participating in Women’s Network is an excellent step for young professionals and I applaud Aurola for doing so already.”


About the Carrie D. Francke Scholarship

Each year, Women’s Network provides a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Carrie D. Francke. Carrie was ambitious, completing a political science degree at MU in three years, followed by earning journalism and law degrees. She served as Senator John Danforth’s press secretary, as an assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri, and on the University of Missouri Board of Curators. She died in a tragic car accident in 1989 at the age of 34. Carrie served on the Women’s Network Steering Committee.

Tags : Student Success, School of Design, Fashion

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