The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is proud to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2024 ITA Sally Ride STEM Award in honor of American icon Sally Ride, as endowed by Tam O’Shaughnessy, and will remain open until Friday, March 29th.

When Sally Ride became the first American woman to soar into space, she captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to shatter barriers. But Ride’s historic spaceflight represented just one aspect of a remarkable and multi-faceted life. She was also an athlete (ranked nationally as a junior tennis player before playing for Swarthmore University and Stanford), a physicist, a writer, and an inspirational leader in science education.

The annual recipient of the ITA Sally Ride STEM Award will be a female student-athlete who is a United States citizen, has graduated from a four-year American college or university, has lettered a minimum of two (2) years on the school’s varsity tennis team, and has exhibited zeal, dedication, and perseverance towards her tennis training and competition, STEM studies, and long-term goals.

The recipient will have majored in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, or Engineering with a minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a scale of 4) and who is accepted into a U.S. university graduate program or has started a U.S. university graduate program [e.g., MS, MPH, PhD, MD, DVM] in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Computer Science, Engineering, or other recognized STEM areas [e.g., Biophysics, Environmental Engineering].

The recipient of the award will receive a grant in the amount of eight-thousand dollars ($8,000) to pursue her dreams. The award money given to the student-athlete may be used in any way she wishes [e.g., tuition, books, rent, etc.].

In addition, the ITA will also donate two thousand dollars ($2,000) to the women’s tennis program of the institution from which the award winner graduated.

Eligibility and Application

  • Applicants must have graduated from a four-year American college or university and have lettered a minimum of two years on the school’s varsity tennis team
  • The following must be submitted in ONE (1) email in addition to filling out the attached writeable PDF (Fillable Form)
  • An essay (no more than 1000 words) outlining the role that tennis and higher education has played in their life, the lessons learned, the role and impact of a STEM education, and a description of the candidate’s plans for graduate study, describing hopes and dreams to be pursued.
  • Initial letters of support on behalf of the candidate by the candidate’s varsity tennis coach and a college STEM professor.
  • Additionally, finalists for the award may be asked to submit a letter of support from the candidate’s college/university president, in addition to their dossier.

Nominations for the 2024 Sally Ride STEM Award are now open and will run through Friday, March 29th. For those interested in nominating, please send all of the required nomination materials in one email to Rachel Dagen ([email protected]).


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