May 15, 2009

Two students earn paralegal studies recognition

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two students earned honors from the Department of Paralegal Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Maria Hightower (Marion) earned the Camille Hickman Scholarship, an annual award presented to a junior in the program who is succeeding despite personal challenges. Hightower is a full-time student and also works full time -- a dual life she has pursued since her senior year in high school. Hightower is legal guardian for her younger sister, taking that role when her sister was a freshman in high school.

“My challenge was keeping up with my school and work, her extracurricular activities and school events while maintaining a household and providing a good life for her,” Hightower said.

Hightower acknowledges the difficulty of such a challenge, but proudly notes that her sister, now 19, graduated from high school early and is a sophomore at the University of Illinois-Chicago now. Hightower herself expects to graduate next fall.

Lindsay Ruot (Moweaqua) earned two scholarships based on her grade point average, the M. Browning Carrott Scholarship and the Paralegal Studies Program Scholarship. Ruot earned the Paralegal Studies Program Scholarship as a junior. The Carrott Scholarship applies to her senior year of study.