ATLANTA—The College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University announced the creation of a new endowed scholarship established by former psychology professor Dr. Leslie Cecelia Jackson. Providing financial support to students studying any field within the college, the Leslie Cecelia Jackson Scholarship is funded by her estate as directed by her 2016 bequest.
The scholarship was conceived by Jackson to help bring academic dreams to fruition for high performing students demonstrating financial need, with the goal of assisting first-generation students from underrepresented groups. A first-generation and older female student from a minority background when she started her academic journey, Jackson was inspired to create a scholarship that could provide students with the kind of support and mentoring that she benefitted from.
“The Leslie Cecelia Jackson Scholarship will be a difference-maker in the lives of students, providing them with an opportunity they might not otherwise have – to earn a Georgia State degree,” said Sara Rosen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We are thankful for this endowment from the late Professor Jackson and all other gifts that support our students in reaching their educational goals.”
Jackson enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career as a psychologist in California, Ohio and Georgia, concluding it as a professor at Georgia State from 1999-2011. She initiated the Minority Access to Psychology program at Georgia State, an undergraduate mentoring program that received funding from the American Psychology Association. As a teacher and mentor, Jackson positively impacted graduate and undergraduate students by broadening their views through exposure to multicultural research and practice with diverse populations. Jackson was a published author whose research focused on diversity in training and service delivery. She also authored a book “Psychotherapy with African American Women- Innovations in Psychodynamic Perspectives and Practice” and, during her time at Georgia State, held a private practice as a psychologist.
Lindsey Cohen, chair of the Department of Psychology, said the scholarship is a fitting legacy for Jackson who was dedicated to her students’ advancement.
“Dr. Jackson was a wonderful and dedicated scholar, clinician, teacher, and mentor who touched the lives of many in immeasurable ways,” Cohen said. “Her students described her as providing steadfast support, which was key to the development of their professional identities, for which they will be eternally grateful.”
The Leslie Cecelia Jackson Scholarship will be awarded to students in good academic standing in the College of Arts & Sciences with a 3.0 or higher grade point average who demonstrate financial need, according to the Office of Financial Aid. The timing and number of awards and the recipients of the scholarship will be determined by a committee established by the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.