She’s been described as dedicated and ambitious. And though it’s not been easy, Bosnian student Denita Hadziabdic, a senior at Tennessee Tech University, continues to excel as she fulfills her dream of studying horticulture in the United States.
In recognition of her high performance and achievement, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Foundation selected Denita to receive the Scotts Company Scholar Award; she is one of only two college students nationwide to be chosen for the award.
Co-sponsored by the GCSAA Foundation and Scotts Co., the award is given to promising students from culturally diverse backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a career in the green industry area of plant science.
As a young Bosnian women deeply affected by the war in her homeland, Denita first came across Tennessee Tech’s web site and could only imagine what it would be like to attend college in a land that is peaceful.
But Denita’s dream of studying horticulture in the United States became a reality when her inspiring story prompted a number of faculty, alumni, campus organizations, community groups and individuals to establish the first International Agricultural Student Scholarship – an integral part of her educational funding.
Since her arrival at TTU, Denita has been awarded numerous scholarships from the university and various associations for her academic and leadership accomplishments. She is a member of several honor societies, including the Mortar Board, the National Honor Society, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and Delta Tau Alpha National Agricultural Honor Society. She was chosen as the 2000-2001 Tennessee Agricultural Production Association Outstanding Undergraduate Student.
In addition to her academic accomplishments, Denita gives back to the community through involvement in area projects, including Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity. She has given presentations about her life in Bosnia and her experiences during the war to community groups and freshman students at Tennessee Tech.
She has interned for Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, Tenn., and will be completing a six-month internship at The Land Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center in January – just in time to begin classes for the spring semester.
Although she’s had to work several part-time jobs in addition to campus work required by several scholarships, she continues to make the most of her learning experience and is a positive example to those around her.
Denita plans to graduate in December 2002. Grateful for the opportunity to study at TTU, she said, "I will try to use this gift in the best way I can."