Award-winning Wildcat Scholars Program helps student succeed

OGDEN, Utah – After a decade away from higher education, Chenelle Fatt found success at Weber State University through the award-winning Wildcat Scholars program. 

Fatt began studying at WSU at age 33. She’d always wanted to earn her degree, but she put school on hold to focus on her busy family life with three young children. In 2021, with her family’s support, Fatt enrolled with plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

“Weber State has such a welcoming atmosphere,” Fatt said. “I’ve had to bring my kids to class before, and every professor has been so down to earth and understanding.”

Fatt immediately applied for Wildcat Scholars, designed to support students placed in developmental math and English who tend to be first-generation, low-income and ethnic minorities. The program offers first-year students courses taken in learning communities and provides additional support, such as free books and other benefits.

The program was recently awarded the 2022 Beacon Award for Excellence in Student Achievement and Success by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.  

“We collaborate with faculty and staff across campus,” said Eric Amsel, associate provost and principal investigator on the grant that funds the program.  “Wildcat Scholars is doing great work and it's all for the benefit of the students.” 

Fatt is also the cultural affairs specialist for WSU’s Native American Student Association advocating for tuition waivers and new graduation recognitions.

Fatt said her hard work and college journey have been worth it for her family. 

“Wildcat Scholars made it possible to reach my dreams,” Fatt said. “Everything I do is for my kids and this helps them see the importance of education.”


Kennedy Jones, Marketing & Communications


Bryan Magaña, public relations director