Oyudari Baatartsogt, a student at Northern Virginia Community College, has been awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. She will graduate summa cum laude from NOVA in May 2013 with an associate of arts degree in psychology.
Baatartsogt, 22, of Arlington, was one of 73 students nationally to receive the prestigious award. The scholarship, which provides upwards of $30,000 per year, is intended to help students meet their financial needs so they can transfer and complete their bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The money can go toward tuition costs, housing, books and required college fees.
Baartartsogt is the seventh NOVA student in the last several years to receive the scholarship award. NOVA President Robert G. Templin, Jr., congratulated Baatartsogt during a small gathering on the Alexandria Campus, where she has attended classes.
“We are so pleased to learn that Baatartsogt has received this prestigious honor,” he said. “She is truly deserving of this scholarship, and we expect her to go on and do great things with her education.”
A native of Mongolia, Baatartsogt came to the United States in 2008 to complete her senior year of high school as an exchange student in Mechanicsville, Va. She enrolled at NOVA in 2010 to study psychology – an area of interest she plans to continue to pursue at both the bachelor and master’s level.
Baatartsogt plans to become a clinical psychologist. “Mental health is basically underfunded and underdeveloped in Mongolia. The country lacks mental health professionals,” she said. “My dream is to one day open a mental health clinic in Mongolia so I can help people.”
Baatartsgot, an honors student, has not selected a college to attend yet. She is waiting to hear back from Stanford University, Cornell University and Georgetown University. She said she is grateful for the academic opportunity NOVA has afforded her, and also to those from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation who selected her to receive the scholarship award.
“This scholarship means everything to me,” she said. “It will allow me to continue my studies, which is very important to me. I am so full of happiness right now.”
While at NOVA, Baatartsogt was involved with various activities, including the Student Government Association and the International Club. She was also a tutor at the Alexandria Campus’ Academic Center for Excellence.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.