Sharon Rader named TTU March Ambassador

Given that she's spent years working with undergraduates who struggle to make ends meet, it's no surprise that Sharon Rader, director of Advancement Services in Tennessee Tech University's Office of University Advancement, makes student finances a priority.

As administrator of the university's Coca Cola Foundation scholarship program, she's helped dozens of students get through school over the years.

"I recently decided to go to graduate school at Tennessee Tech, and my advisor wanted me to go ahead and take one of his graduate courses," said Jimmy Harvey, a senior in civil engineering who's a Coke Scholar. "The problem is that my scholarship only covered undergraduate courses, and the graduate courses are billed separately."

In addition to the extra cost of the graduate-level class, Harvey soon ran into another complication. During his last semester, he only needed six more undergraduate hours, so he wanted to take another two graduate courses. But the scholarship requires a full-time undergraduate load, so he would have had to pay an even higher amount — and risk losing his undergraduate scholarship.

"I spoke to Ms. Rader about my concerns on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. She said she didn't know what she could do, but would try to help me out. By 5 p.m. that very same day, I received an e-mail from Ms. Rader saying that she had gotten an exception granted for me and that my account balanced."

Ambassador nomination forms are available from Human Resource Services or by visiting www.tntech.edu/hr.