ATHENA Nontraditional Scholarship


ATHENA Scholarship

The ATHENA Scholarship is awarded to a Rutherford County woman who is pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree later in life. This $3,000 scholarship is offered through the generous support of the ATHENA Patrons Society.

Rutherford Athena also presented a scholarship to Khadijah Alnassari, who suspended her education in 2001 following widespread Islamophobia after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. She re-enrolled at MTSU and brought her three triplets along with her in the fall of 2020.  Since then, Alnassari has devoted herself to outreach, education, and the inclusion of Muslims at MTSU. She is currently lead researcher on two teams at MTSU, and the President of Al-Wahda “A United Muslim Association,” which is dedicated to the understanding and inclusion of Muslims on campus. This spring, Khadijah put together and hosted the “Festival of Veils” at MTSU. 

She plans to use her scholarship to continue her education in biology at MTSU.


Applicant Eligibility Requirements

  • Female
  • Permanent resident of Rutherford County
  • Graduated high school or completed GED at least five years ago
  • Student in or an applicant for admission to any associate’s or bachelor’s degree program
  • Previous recipients are not eligible for the ATHENA Nontraditional Scholarship.

Application Process

In addition to the application form itself, four (4) documents must be submitted:

Two letters of reference on official stationery focusing on academic potential, leadership abilities, need, and worthiness of student written by a) a former teacher or supervisor or b) a non-relative who is familiar with the student’s potential to be successful in a higher education program of study.

A copy of your high school transcript. If you have attended college previously, a copy of your college transcript, as well, and a copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate.

A copy of a letter from the college or school verifying your completion of application materials and/or admission.

2022 Rutherford ATHENA Scholarship Recipient $3000 to Khadijah Alnassari

To apply for the 2022 ATHENA Scholarship, please follow the link below to complete your application

Deadline to apply is March 31, 2021

If you have any questions or need help with your application, please contact Athena scholarship chair, Margaret Woodis, at

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2022 ATHENA Sponsors

For more information about the Rutherford ATHENA Award® Program, please contact Lori Cutler, 2022 ATHENA Chair, at
For more information on the ATHENA International Leadership Award, please visit