Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Winners
Six of the seven 2018 Renaissance Scholarship
recipients (top); Scholarship Co-Chairman Doug Fulton
with photo of the late Lou Weintraub
and widow Roslyn Levy Weintraub; a
seventh scholarship was presented
in Lou's memory.
Photos by Jeff Hendy


The Renaissance Society Scholarship program began in 1993 with two $500 awards. Over time, the amount grew to three $1,000 awards. In 2007, the Board of Directors increased the awards to three $1,500 scholarships. In 2011, they were scheduled to rise to four $2,000 scholarships. However, since Renaissance was celebrating its 25th anniversary, the board added another, for a total of five $2,000 scholarships.

For 2012, there were four scholarships of $2,000 each. That increased to five scholarships of $2,500 each, beginning in 2013. In 2015, scholarships grew to six of $3,000 each, the same for 2016 and 2017.

For 2018, the board approved a seventh scholarship award, in memory of Lou Weintraub. He was co-founder of the program and passed away in December 2017, one month shy of his 104th birthday.

Originally, applicants were sought in fields related to gerontology, but that has been expanded to include other disciplines and graduate students have been added. In addition to CSUS requirements for scholarships, Renaissance requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 and an essay describing personal achievements, challenges, financial needs and, most importantly, how their field of study will be useful to Renaissance members.

Since 1993, Renaissance has given scholarships to 86 students for a total of $164,000.

Want to donate to the Scholarship Fund? Donations are tax-deductible. Make out your check to Renaissance Society, putting "Scholarship Fund" in the Notes. Send the check to Renaissance Society, CSU, Sacramento, 6000 J St., Sacramento, CA 95819-6074. Donations can be made in the memory of someone.

The 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Eleesha Aromin Marcy Basila
Eleesha Aromin, Marcy Basila
Daniel Estep Leah Hipps
Daniel Estep, Leah Hipps
Sonam Rai Doene Vukovich
Sonam Rai, Doene Vukovich
Emma Williams
Emma Williams

Eleesha Aromin is an undergraduate in the CSUS Gerontology program, where she wishes to pursue her passion for helping older adults. This began when she was 10 and was taken to a skilled nursing facility to sing Christmas carols. After high school, she worked as a nursing assistant in such a facility. At the age of 29, she went back to school at Ohlone College while working part-time and caring for her grandmother and daughter. She completed her associate degree in human development, graduating with highest honors. She hopes her degree with help her improve the quality of life for older adults in the community, focusing on intergenerational activities.

Marcy Basila is a single parent who is the first in her family to graduate from a university. She has graduated from CSUS with a degree in Social Work and will enter the master's degree program in that subject this in the fall. She has volunteered at the LGBT Community Center, where she is a community resource and respite coordinator. That taught her compassion for the most marginalized population in their quest for housing and health care. She is past president of the Filipino Club and a board member of the Filipino Theater Performing Arts Association. She hopes to work in a government or nonprofit agency involved with foster youth, veterans, the aging and the LGBTQ communities.

Daniel Estep enrolled in the CSUS Nursing Program after receiving associate degrees in Science and Mathematics and Social and Behavioral Sciences at Napa Valley College. He is the first of his family to attend a university and is the single parent of two. He was the oldest of five in a home with alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. He dropped out of high school and was often homeless. When his children were born, he knew he had to break the cycle of poverty, ignorance and hardship. He has volunteered at the Foot and Nail Clinic at Loaves and Fishes and peer mentoring events through the California Nursing Students Association. He is instilling in his children the importance of an education.

Leah Hipps is an undergraduate in the Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Her goal is to earn a master's degree and teaching credential and teach mathematics at any level. She was raised and home-schooled on a small farm in rural Nebraska, the sixth of 11 children. She excelled at math and her siblings called her a tiny human calculator. She moved to California and entered junior college, transferring to CSUS as a junior. She was encouraged by her grandparents to go to college. She wants to spend her life teaching students how to be life-long learners and wants to teach the value of relationships across generations. She does youth mentoring, teaching math.

Sonam Rai is a graduate student in the master's program in Communication Disorders and Sciences with a goal of providing services internationally for those who cannot afford them. She transferred from Sierra College and graduated cum laude from CSUS with a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She has volunteered at Bristol Hospice and is involved in the leadership of the Dementia Tours in Yuba City and Roseville, educationing the community about that disease. She also volunteers at Wellspring Women's Center, Sutter Memorial Hospital and Neuroservice Alliance. She believes her field is useful for older adults because communication is vital for a healthy vibrant lifestyle.

Doene Vukovich is an undergraduate in the Health Sciences Program with an emphasis on Community Health Education. Her goal after obtaining a bachelor's degree is to apply to a Physician's Assistant program. She is involved in athletics and coaching. She was the 2011 Iron Woman champion in the Eppies Great Race and that year also received a Level 1 coaching certification from USA Track and Field. Her proudest achievement has been raising her son. She intends to share research on health enhancement into daily living. Health Sciences provides an area of study that is of value to all ages.

Emma Williams is completing her first semester in the Nursing Program, having received As in all her courses for five semesters to be accepted into the impacted program. She has volunteered at a local retirement home and seen how beneficial education and brain-stimulating activity can be for the elderly, especially those who have suffered tragedy throughout their lives. She believes nurses can provide both physical and emotional care to the elderly. She recognizes that although their bodies slow down and require more attention, their minds have further growth and can develop without being held back by the stigma of aging.