Ukiah… Academic Excellence Scholarships are given to students who are simply put, excel academically.  Courtney Wagner is a shining example of what it means to be an excellent student scholar.

Wagner received a Mendocino College Foundation Academic Excellence Scholarship for $1,500 in the 2018-19 academic year.  She has consistently been on the President’s List for honors students and has already earned an Associate in Arts in English for Transfer and is on track to earn an Associates in Arts in Business Administration for Transfer this spring.

She describes herself as a “nerd.”  This particular nerd is a re-entry student who works incredibly hard to achieve her goals.  She is carrying a full course load, works part time and coordinates a writing group.  She has maintained an almost perfect grade point average- with the exception of receiving one B grade.

This nerd loves everything “words.”  She loves to read, write poetry and immerse herself in the written word.  She began her education at Mendocino College with the intention of becoming an English teacher but that shifted to a passion for math upon successful completion of her transfer level math course.  “I was afraid of taking math and just didn’t think I was smart enough.  I started slow and was able to complete Calculus with an A.  That ended my fear of math and began my love of math.  With my new found success and passion for math, it started me thinking about becoming a certified public accountant.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I still love English and will always have my love of words, but a career involving numbers was the path for me!” stated Wagner.  She plans to transfer to Sonoma State University in Spring 2020 with a goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on accounting.

In her limited spare time, she started a writer’s group which meets once per month and is comprised of classmates from Bart Rawlinson’s English classes.  They meet informally to share their love of words.  They share poetry, memoir style narratives and anything they are working on individually for feedback from the group.

Wagner credits English professor, Bart Rawlinson with creating a classroom environment that nurtured her creative side and appreciates his sensitivity to his students.  “I never felt like any question I asked him was stupid. And he has this amazing way of bringing the real world into his classroom,” stated Wagner.

“Receiving a Mendocino College Foundation Scholarship helped me pay rent, buy gas and stay in school in order to achieve my goals,” stated Wagner.

For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any of their programs, contact Katie Fairbairn, Executive Director at or call 468-3164.

Recent News

Welcome New Foundation Executive Director, Julie McGovern

Welcome New Foundation Executive Director, Julie McGovern

Ukiah, CA – “The Mendocino College Foundation is pleased to announce that it has named Julie McGovern as its new Executive Director effective January 2022,” said Foundation Board President, Tom Dow. McGovern brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for...

read more