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Three students win Ty Cobb Scholarships

May 6, 2020

University of North Georgia (UNG) students Kat Torres and Simeon Salia have each won the Ty Cobb Scholarship again, and Komlan Sogah is a first-time winner. The award is given annually to Georgia residents.

For Torres, a junior from Hoschton, Georgia, pursuing a degree in political science, the award could not come at a better time.

"I have been unable to work due to COVID-19, which makes saving money for fall semester extremely difficult," Torres said. "The Ty Cobb Scholarship has helped ensure that I have some guaranteed funding so I can continue working toward my degree in the fall."

Torres was also selected in the fall for a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship that sent her to Australia during the spring 2020 semester and she was named to the 2020-21 class of Newman Civic Fellows. Previously, she was part of the 5% of applicants selected to participate in the three-day Cox-State Diplomacy Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Though Torres has built a long list of accomplishments, she credits some early setbacks for helping her reach this point.

"It's important for me to note that I did not win some scholarships, like Gilman, on the first try," Torres said. "I find that my failures eventually led me to success."

Salia took part in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in physics at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama, during summer 2018.

Salia, a Sandy Springs, Georgia, native, is finishing up his third year at UNG as part of the Regents' Engineering Transfer Program (RETP). Students in RETP attend UNG at the Dahlonega or Gainesville campuses to take mathematics, science and some engineering courses required in their first few years. When they successfully complete the classes, the students transfer to Georgia Tech to complete the requirements for an engineering degree.

"I give UNG all the credit for my academic, personal and professional growth," Salia said.

Sogah, a sophomore pursuing a degree in cybersecurity, was a platoon sergeant this year in UNG's Corps of Cadets. He initially applied for the Ty Cobb Scholarship to help fund a study abroad to work on his minor in French this summer before the trip was canceled.

His time in a Corps leadership position has taught him he doesn't have to be perfect, but growth is a continual process. He has also thrived on getting to serve children with disabilities through Pi Kappa Phi, his fraternity. His time at UNG has made large impact so far.

"My confidence level has definitely gone up since being at UNG," Sogah said.

The Ty Cobb Educational Foundation was started by Cobb, a baseball Hall of Famer from Georgia, "for the purpose of assisting capable and deserving residents of Georgia who need financial assistance in completing their college education." Recipients are urged to contribute to the foundation in future years when their circumstances permit. The foundation has awarded more than $18 million to thousands of Georgians.

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