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Northwest alumna Karen Daniel, on Jan. 17, announced the first recipients of three scholarships she established to support Black students in the pursuit of their college degrees. Left to right are Daniel and the scholarship recipients, Darren Ross, Carlyn Carpenter and Omolade Mayowa.

Northwest alumna Karen Daniel, on Jan. 17, announced the first recipients of three scholarships she established to support Black students in the pursuit of their college degrees. Left to right are Daniel and the scholarship recipients, Darren Ross, Carlyn Carpenter and Omolade Mayowa.

Jan. 28, 2022

Three students named inaugural scholarship recipients through Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund


A Northwest Missouri State University alumna on Jan. 17 announced the inaugural recipients of three scholarships she established, each valued at $250,000, to support Black students in the pursuit of their college degrees.

The Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund, established by Daniel in 2020 through the Northwest Foundation in support of Northwest’s objective to enhance Black students’ academic and social experiences, awarded the Alyce L. Cummins Future Educator Scholarship to Carlyn Carpenter, a junior early childhood education major from Kansas City, Missouri; the Dr. Leslie K Doyle Leadership Scholarship to Mayowa Omolade, a junior international business major from Lagos, Nigeria; and the Claudean V. Daniel Trailblazer Scholarship Darren Ross, a sophomore computer science major from St. Louis.

Karen Daniel gave the keynote address at Northwest’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Lunch and recounted the words of her mother on the day of King’s assassination.

Karen Daniel gave the keynote address at Northwest’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Lunch and recounted the words of her mother on the day of King’s assassination.

The scholarships are named for Daniel’s grandmother, niece and mother, respectively.

“If I do nothing else in this life, the ability to honor the three people who these scholarships are named after will be my greatest honor, because my journey has always been about honor, opportunity and giving back,” Daniel said as she discussed the scholarships during a keynote address at Northwest’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Lunch.

During her address, Daniel, who graduated from Northwest in 1980 with her bachelor’s degree in accounting, reflected on her motivation to assist students with their higher education journeys and encouraged them to be intentional in leading changes that align with King’s dream. Daniel recounted King’s assassination and the inspiration she gathered from her mother’s words on that fateful day.

“She said this man gave his very life for you, and when opportunities come your way, you must seize those opportunities from an educational perspective, from community involvement perspective, and ultimately create opportunities for those who follow,” Daniel said. “I’ve always been committed to try to fulfill that dream.”

Daniel retired in 2018 as the chief financial officer at Black & Veatch, a global engineering and construction company based in Overland Park, Kansas. She was named to the role in 1999, joined the company’s Board of Directors in 2006 and served as president of the company’s Global Finance and Technology Solutions Division.

Additionally, she serves on numerous public and philanthropic boards in Kansas City, Missouri, and beyond. In 2016, she was unanimously elected the first African-American chairwoman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce by its Board of Directors. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of Snap-on Tools, Teladoc Health, Giant Eagle and Commerce Bancshares, the Kansas City Royals ownership group, and she was vice chair of former President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. She also served on Northwest’s Board of Regents and the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors.

Details about each of the scholarships are provided below.

For more information about supporting the Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund or making other contributions to the Northwest Foundation, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit www.nwmissouri.edu/GiveOnline.


Alyce L. Cummins Future Educator Scholarship

The scholarship is named for Alyce L. Cummins, Karen Daniel’s grandmother who recognized the importance of education. As a young woman, Cummins attended college to become an educator, but the Great Depression interrupted her path. In her 40s, she returned to college as a non-traditional student and eventually fulfilled her dream as second-grade school teacher.

The scholarship is awarded annually to one incoming or continuing full-time Northwest student for $6,000 per semester to ensure tuition and fees are covered for the duration of the recipient’s college career at Northwest. The recipient shall be a Black student with a declared major in the School of Education who maintains at least a 3.0 high school GPA as an incoming student or at least a 3.0 GPA as a Northwest student. The recipient also will be selected based on the strength of an essay addressing why education is a game changer, how they were inspired to become a teacher and the attributes their favorite teacher used to help them excel.

Carlyn Carpenter received the scholarship for 2022-2023. In her essay, Carpenter described her aspirations to become a teacher and the traits of flexibility, passion and open- mindedness she is incorporating into her practice through her experiences with impactful high school and college educators. After completing her bachelor’s degree at Northwest, she hopes to attain a master’s degree in business management with intentions of operating a childcare center and non-profit tutoring program.

“Education is truly a game changer because it is a power anyone can uphold, and once someone learns no one can deprive them of that knowledge,” she wrote. “Not only is education a game changer due to the power it holds but also because of the impact it can have on your life when coincided with interests. Once strengths are developed and are applied to interests, a grand outcome arises. New resolutions are established, cures are found, an innovative design is created, the results are full of endless possibilities.”

Claudean V. Daniel Trailblazer Scholarship

The scholarship is named for Claudean V. Daniel, Karen Daniel’s mother whom she describes as a beacon of hope in overcoming adversity. She raised her five children to be self-sufficient while supporting each other. She was a trailblazer in her career as a self-taught accountant and revered supervisor and leader in the workplace.

The scholarship is awarded annually to one incoming or continuing full-time Northwest student for $6,000 per semester to ensure tuition and fees are covered for the duration of the recipient’s college career at Northwest. The recipient shall be a Black student who is the first in their immediate family to attend a four-year college or university and must have at least a 3.0 high school GPA as an incoming student or at least a 2.75 GPA as a Northwest student. The recipient also will be selected based on the strength of an essay addressing why they were inspired to achieve a four-year college degree, how they overcame adversity on their journey to a college degree and what they will do to make a positive difference in the lives others.

Darren Ross received the scholarship for 2022-2023. In his essay, he described drawing inspiration from his family and experiences as a young Black man as he works toward completing his college degree. Ross wrote that he is motivated to set an example as the first in his family to graduate from college and prove himself in the computer science field, which is comprised of a mostly white workforce.

“My education was important to me ever since I started in school,” Ross wrote. “It was the motivation I needed to avoid street life and further myself. Such situations shouldn’t be a downfall, but rather an uplifting push. My involvement with the diversity and inclusion teams from school to school will also show how much care for a unified community I have.”

Dr. Leslie K Doyle Leadership Scholarship

The scholarship is named for Karen Daniel’s niece, Dr. Leslie K Doyle, a 1997 Northwest alumna, servant leader and equity-minded educator. She is known for her ability to relate to and advise underserved and underrepresented students. Her commitment to equity in education has resulted in countless students across the nation who also have effectively taken on responsibilities to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. The scholarship is designed to develop leaders for generations to come.

The scholarship is awarded annually to one incoming or continuing full-time Northwest student for $5,000 per semester to cover all tuition and fees. The recipient shall be a Black student with at least a 3.0 high school GPA as an incoming student or at least a 3.0 GPA as a Northwest student. The recipient also will be selected based on the strength of an essay addressing why leading is important in their journey, how they lead within their community or school to advance racial equity and what their legacy will include in relation to impact on Northwest.

Omolade Mayowa received the scholarship for 2022-2023. In his essay, Mayowa described his own leadership experiences and involvement in Northwest organizations, such as the International Student Organization, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Minority Men’s Organization, for which he served as social chair. He described the importance of having mentors who have instilled confidence in him and engaging with people from diverse backgrounds who have empowered him to advocate for tolerance and peace. Mayowa wrote that he desires to be a change agent by demonstrating caring, considerate and effective leadership.

“Unity in diversity is the catalyst through which productivity is achieved in the community,” he wrote. “As our races are different, so are our cultures. I have been able to help create an avenue in which students from different walks of life are able to associate and support one another so we will all be able to succeed both academically and through extracurricular activities. Every culture has something to teach and the only way we can learn from each other is to practice tolerance despite our differences and appreciate the fact that everyone has something to bring to the table.”


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704