Shawna Yellowhair, a sophomore at The University of New Mexico-Gallup campus, has been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

This highly competitive national award was awarded to 61 recipients from around the country and will provide up to $40,000 per year for up to three years to allow her to complete her bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution of her choosing.

Yellowhair was one of nearly 1,500 students who applied for the 2019 Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship. The application process was rigorous and applicants were evaluated based on academic ability, leadership skills, service and persistence. 

A graduate of Window Rock High School, Shawna will earn an associate of arts degree in business administration from UNM-Gallup on May 10. She plans to transfer to a four-year institution to complete her studies in either accounting or finance. 

The Cooke Foundation’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who begin their studies at a community college, then transfer on to complete their baccalaureate requirements at a four-year-institution. Yellowhair did not initially think she would start at a two-year college, but now recommends that path to others. “I thought I was going to go to a four-year college but they are so expensive, so I ended up getting my prerequisites at UNM-Gallup.” 

Dr. James Malm, UNM-Gallup CEO agrees that two-year colleges are a great choice for many students. “Our students benefit from more affordable tuition rates, smaller class sizes and an institution that is closer to home. Shawna is now well-positioned to move on to successfully complete her bachelor’s degree.  All of us at UNM-Gallup are extremely proud of Shawna’s accomplishments and wish her the very best as she moves on to advance her education.”

For more information about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, visit