Awards and Scholarships for Students

Dr. Edna L. Saffy Library Scholarship - SPRING ANNUALLY

Dr. Edna L. Saffy on bikePurpose

The purpose of the Dr. Edna L. Saffy Library Scholarship, value $1,000, is to provide support for a student with an academic interest in women’s history.  Preference will be given to students with an interest in (ascending order of priority) American Women’s History, Florida Women’s History, Jacksonville Women’s History, and/or Dr. Edna Saffy’s contribution to Women’s History.


For questions regarding applying for this scholarship, please contact Pat Madrid, UNF Library Coordinator of Budgets (904-620-1485).


Dr. Edna L. Saffy was a professor, human rights activist and founder of NOW chapters in Jacksonville and Gainesville. She was active in city, county, state and national political causes.  As Gloria Steinem said of her, 'Edna always makes it happen.'"  Dr. Saffy was a member of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee for 35 years. In 1975, Dr. Saffy was a key organizer of a march on the state capitol in Tallahassee in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, leading a group of women estimated at 3,000.  The amendment passed in the state House in both 1975 and 1977, but it failed by a few votes in the state Senate and never gained approval in enough state legislatures to become part of the Constitution.  Although the struggle for the ERA was unsuccessful, Dr. Saffy felt that it was a battle worth fighting, one that helped change hearts and minds and open up opportunities for women.

The Jacksonville native graduated from Lee High School before heading to the University of Florida where she earned her bachelor's degree and master's degree in rhetoric and public address. In 1968 she went to work as an English and speech instructor at what is now Florida State College at Jacksonville. She taught speech and oral communication at the college until she retired at the end of 2007 and was named professor emeritus. Dr. Saffy returned to Gainesville in 1972 to work on her doctorate and founded a NOW chapter there, two years after she and some friends had founded the Jacksonville chapter.

Edna at presidents inauguration 1997 with unknown maleDr. Saffy was recognized for her human rights efforts by being named "a woman of courage and vision" in 2001 by the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women during Women's History Month. In 2005, Dr. Saffy was presented with the EVE Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her public service included mayoral appointments to the Duval County Hospital Authority, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, advisory committee on LaVilla Cultural Heritage District and the Jacksonville Area Planning Board. She was active with numerous groups including Planned Parenthood, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society, Hubbard House, Karpeles Manuscript Museum and the American Association of University Women.  Dr. Saffy also served as president of the Florida Women's Political Caucus and founder of the Jacksonville Women's Network.  Nationally Edna Saffy was active in Mideast peace groups and a member of the American Arab Institute, she was invited by President Clinton to witness the signing of the Mid-East Peace Accord in 1993.  She also was appointed by President Clinton to the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in 1995-2001, and by President Gerald Ford in 1976 as a Florida delegate to the International Women's Conference. She was a Florida State delegate to Democratic National Conventions in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000.

After her death in 2010 Edna Saffy’s husband of 41 years, Grady E. Johnson Jr. established the fund for a scholarship in her name.  The first scholarship will be awarded in 2017.  The UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library houses the archives of Dr. Saffy’s papers and memorabilia.

Learn more about the Dr. Edna L. Saffy Collection here, its digitized items can be accessed here and through the UNF Digital Commons.

  • Meet admissions requirements and be accepted or a current student at the University of North Florida
  • Reside in Florida for tuition purposes, only Florida residents are applicable
  • Be a Junior, Senior or Graduate student studying History, Philosophy, Political Science, or Gender Studies, and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 
  • Submit the Application Form with an essay. 
  • The essay is limited to 3 pages typed double-spaced with font size of 12 point. 
  • The essay is the opportunity to tell the selection committee about yourself and your goals for the future. There are 3 parts to the essay.
    • Part 1: Tell the committee about yourself and your background. Things you might include but are not limited to: why you decided to come to UNF, your achievements, the toughest obstacle you have experienced.
    • Part 2: Describe why you chose your major and how your interest in women’s history fits into your major.  Describe the specific aspect of women’s history that interests you and why.
    • Part 3: Describe your goals for the future.
  • For more information contact the Library Administration Office 904-620-2553
  • Enroll in at least 6 credit hours each semester and earn a minimum of 12 credit hours by the end of each academic year.
  • Comply with at regulations, rules and codes of conduct governing students on campus,
  • Consent to release grades to the Division of Institutional Advancement for the purpose of reporting to the Donor and the Library Dean. Applicants may be asked to meet with the donor and/or the selection committee.
  • The award winner will be expected to attend the award luncheon.
  • The scholarship’s current funding level is $1,000, with the scholarship payable in increments of $500 divided equally in the spring and fall semesters.

Scholarship Winners

2021: Carol Hemmingway

Year: Junior

Major Area of Study: History



My name is Carol Hemmingway. I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida where my parents and younger sister also live. I was homeschooled from kindergarten to the end of high school and UNF is the first public school that I have attended. I worked hard to get accepted to various universities, but in the end, I chose UNF because it was close to home and affordable. Currently, I am a Junior, with the 2020-2021 academic year being my third year in university. I first chose to major in History because it is a familiar subject. I grew up learning history from my parents and explored historical sites and books on historical events from a young age. I also major in Spanish because of my interest in language and my experience with studying it since middle school.

I have worked to seize as many academic opportunities as possible. I try to regularly apply for scholarships and have received some from both the state and UNF. I have built relationships with professors from both the Department of History and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures through attending events and participating in internships. I particularly have had a strong connection to UNF’s Digital Humanities Institute since I became the research intern and student leader of the Editing the Eartha M. M. White Collection project. I also work at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections to gain experience towards my career goal of becoming an archivist. To continue to work towards this goal, I read about archival theory in books from the library during breaks in the academic year.

Because I live on campus, I try to take advantage of the many activities available on campus. I particularly enjoy going to basketball games and the campus’ game rooms. I also participate in various clubs to meet new people and to enrich myself culturally and spiritually. In the Spring 2020 semester, I became president of UNF’s Bad Film Club after reviving the inactive club. The club’s membership meets regularly to watch films of questionable quality and to enjoy amusingly poor examples of filmmaking and acting. When I have other free time, I like to watch educational videos usually related to history or information science on YouTube. I also read Japanese graphic novels, watch films from other countries, hike, canoe, and play video games. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.


Cara portrait 2020: Carra Harrison 

Year: Junior

Major Area of Study: History



I was born and raised here in Jacksonville, Florida and attended Fletcher High School. Throughout grade school my favorite subjects were always English and especially History. Upon graduating High School, I attended FSCJ where I completed my A.A. My time at FSCJ helped me discover what I was most passionate about which was history. My love for history was instilled in me from an early age as my grandfather and father spent a lot of time teaching me about the past and reading about it themselves. When I transferred to UNF, my decision in a major was easy. A lot of people ask me “What are you going to do with that degree?” or the claim that history is useless major and isn’t practical. I believe, however, that it is a waste of time and money to spend four years studying something that you hate versus studying something that brings you joy and motivates you to learn more about the world and yourself.
I was accepted into the Hick Honors college along with my acceptance into UNF. My time here has allowed for a tremendous amount of personal growth and development in such as short amount of time. I spend most of my time studying and reading in the library. Outside of school, I enjoy being active through my yoga practice and have also participated in competitive equestrian sports from the age of five.
My true passion is in writing. I like to fill my time by working on my personal writing, which includes poetry and fiction. My dream is to be a professional writer. My study of history has given me a greater understanding of the world around me which has contributed significantly to my own work. My plan upon graduating from UNF is to take a gap year where I will continue to work and save money and also travel around the states. This gap year will also give me time to choose the best graduate program and school suited for me. My dream is to study internationally, so fingers crossed I am able to get into a school in the UK!


Kaci in front of the library2019:  Kaci DeLisle

Year: Junior

Major Area of Study: History

Minor Area of Study: Art History

Winning Essay:

My name is Kaci DeLisle and I am a student at UNF. Both of my older sisters graduated from UNF with English degrees, and at first, I thought I would too. I spent two years at a community college working towards my A.A. because, frankly, I barely had the money for that. My parents are gracious enough to let me live at home, but I have always known that paying for college was my responsibility. With tuition, books, car payments, and gas, money can be tight when trying to avoid student loans. Right now, and for much of my college experience, I juggle two jobs and four classes along with an attempt at a healthy social life. 
Going to the University of North Florida was the plan simply because it made the most financial sense. Now, in my third semester here at UNF, I am proud to call it home. As far as choosing a major goes I have to give credit to my community college, since it was there I heard my calling. 
My last semester at community college I took three classes that pushed me towards UNF; The History of Florida, Introduction to Art History, and Women’s Literature. My History of Florida course was taught by Dana Logan, an incredible professor who gave lectures I loved and assigned papers that I enjoyed writing. Introduction to Art History was supposed to be a throw away class with an easy A but the text book, the name of which escapes me, had art work I had never seen before and soon fell in love with. Women’s Lit was taught by a fiery professor who loved to hear differing opinions and encouraged everyone in the class to use their unique voice and experiences to analyze a text. So began my love for the Liberal Arts.  
I declared History and Art History as my majors as soon as I enrolled at the University of North Florida and haven’t second guessed it once. Originally my love for history left me floundering. If I went on to grad school what would be my specialization? What was my focus? The answer was before me all along. Combining my love for history and women’s literature I began to write every paper and do any project I could on historically significant women. Just this semester I decided that 20th century American History would be my specialization, with a focus in women, gender, and race studies. 
The specialization for Art History did not elude me. My focus in Art History hit me like a brick wall in my first 2000 level ARH course, thanks to Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein. Learning about this piece was incredible to me, and to this day Lichtenstein remains a favorite artist of mine. Discovering that art, the ultimate form of self-expression, had unspoken rules about what was “high art” and what was “low art” sparked a fire in me. That spark has only grown as I learned that it is often women and minority art that is relegated as “low” arts. Ever since I have known that I wanted to study more about art that bridged the divides that shouldn’t exist in the first place. The fact that Lichtenstein’s pieces were often commentary on misogynistic overtones of the time, only increased my love for the works. I would like to focus on, most likely 20th century, art that bridged the divide of “high” and “low” arts and offered commentary on the issues that impact these artistic labels. 
Right now, the future is unclear. I know I will be going to graduate school when I graduate from UNF, but what program I will join is not yet decided. As far as pursuing a career goes I haven’t made any solid decisions yet. Professorship, authorship, and museum work all interest me and I don’t see any reason to limit myself to only one of these careers. I am hoping to soon do an internship to help me decide what I want to pursue first, but many internships are unpaid and at the moment I can’t sacrifice my second income. I am looking forward to my last year at UNF and am hopeful for what the future holds. 


2018:  Danielle Brantley

Year: Graduate Student

Major Area of Study: History

Winning Essay:

I have always been a bit hesitant about myself and my future. For the first time ever, UNF has provided me so many opportunities to shine and feel confident in my choices. I received my BA from the University of Central Florida where this confidence-gaining journey began. Still very unsure, I settled on a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. This degree allowed me to dip my toes in many of my interests. I learned during my humanities courses how much I enjoyed history. Following my graduation in 2012, I lived in Tallahassee for a few years living with one of my lovely three sisters. There, I pursued a job in the special needs’ community, another passion of mine. Within this field, I had the opportunity to assist a local museum with an accessibility program. It was there I gained the desire to work in the public history field. And the itch to get my master’s degree was eventually strong enough to encourage me to take the chance and make a change. In 2016, I was accepted and began my master’s degree in history at UNF. I have been going part-time and will graduate in the Spring of 2019. During my studies, I have prioritized internships, including one within the National Park Service and another within the Forest Service. Following graduation, my dream is to manage a historic site. In such a job, I will take pride in preserving the site and sharing all its history with the public. The Dr. Edna L. Saffy Library Scholarship validated my intelligence, passion, and work ethic.”


2017:  Shannon Morgan

Year: Junior

Major Area of Study: Political Science

Winning Essay:

October 8, 2014, one day before my birthday, was the day that I learned I was accepted into The University of North Florida. It was the best birthday present I could've asked for and I will never forget it. I can remember the excitement my twin sister and I shared knowing that in only a few months we would begin our college careers together as Ospreys.

Here I am two years later, as a junior political science major and sociology minor at a wonderful university in the amazing city of Jacksonville. When I arrived at UNF I was lost and unsure of what I wanted to major in. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, all I knew was that I wanted my future career to be one that makes a positive impact on the world. The thing about choosing a major based on that is that they can all make positive impacts on the world one way or another, you have to choose something you are very passionate about. Something that I have always been passionate learning about is politics and the history of women's rights. Their patience, courage, and bravery and fight for freedom and equality throughout history is truly amazing. I am able to vote, get an education, and work because of the perseverance and dedication of many strong women. I am inspired by women who fought for and are still fighting for basic civil rights an equality for all; Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and now Edna L. Saffy, to name a few women who dedicated their lives as leaders and as a voice for women everywhere.

It is because of these women I decided to become a political science major. I want to create a better world for women just as these women have, and my time here at UNF is strengthening my ability to do so. I am specifically interested in political aspects of women's history because women are often very under-represented in politics. Although the number of women representatives has increased in recent years, there are still many more women needed in government - because policy making is how change is created. I want to be a voice for women who may feel they do not have a voice in politics. Personally I have always had an interest in politics, ever since I was elected class president in fourth grade. I have always believed my voice matters. I want all young girls and women to feel this way because the truth is, their voices do matter.

When I think about what I could do in the future as a political science major, I imagine endless possibilities. I know that my education at the university of north Florida will lead me to my goals as I have already had many opportunities to explore my interests in politics. This past summer I participated in campaigning events for Hillary Clinton and a voter registration drive, I am also proud to be a part of UNF's new Feminist Club. I have always felt the need to participate in my community as a public servant and to inspire others to get involved in politics, especially young women. Young girls should know from an early age how important their participation is in leadership. After I graduate I plan to start my own organization encouraging young voters to become involved in any aspect of politics and law possible, because I believe we need more female voices. My career goal is to have a legacy as amazing as Dr. Edna L. Saffy's - a strong woman who dedicated much of her life to fighting for others, especially women.



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