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Female entrepreneurs honored with new scholarship


A new scholarship named after TWU’s own stone mascot has honored 12 students in support of women who plan to own and run their own business in the state of Texas. Presented by the Hub for Women in Business, this allows first-year and graduate students immediate funding for their education so they can achieve their future aspirations.

Maria Beshears

A graduate student seeking a master in Nutrition, Beshears’ business proposal revolved around opening her own pediatric clinic specializing in rehabilitation and offering four different types of 

therapy and nutritional and mental health services. Beshears learned she wanted to serve children through her profession when she began working as an interpreter for Early Childhood Intervention and meet Jennifer Piazza. “I was able to observe how [Piazza] worked with these families and I got to interact with patients the families and that was, I think, my biggest motivator.”

Carrie Buckley

After growing up in a small town where citizens worked hard, often putting physical stress on their bodies to make a living Buckley plans to open a private practice in a small town like her own to provide patients with labor intensive jobs access to Occupational Therapy. Buckley, a graduate student explained: “I have been around these individuals my entire life and have seen how hard they work and the injuries and difficulties they face as a direct result. After working so hard to take care of everyone else for so many years, I think it’s only fair that we take care of them as well.”

“After working so hard to take care of everyone else … I think it’s only fair that we take care of them as well.”

-Carrie Buckley

Joan Denton

Beginning at an early age, Denton, a graduate Nutrition student, was exposed to the vitality of daily nutrition from her father’s work as an Army Colonel, determining what healthy rations for his troops would be. Denton’s proposal involves owning her own business where she helps patients adjust to new restrictive diets their doctors advise, something she has had first-hand experience with when her father was diagnosed with diabetes. “People really struggle when doctors tell them ‘you need to make these changes,’ and I can be a part of that coalition,” she said.

Madeline Hoffman

First-year Kinesiology student, Hoffman found her way to TWU because of the prestigious Kinesiology program and plans to open a future practice aimed at helping athletes and veterans. Hoffman and this year’s Minerva Scholar had the opportunity to hear Texas Governor Greg Abbott speak on campus and meet with him personally, something Hoffman enjoyed. “[The governor] said something along the lines of ‘when women in Texas succeed, all of Texas succeeds,’ and I really liked that,” she said.

Danielle Johnson

Originally from Louisiana, Johnson learned early in life how culture and food go hand-in-hand and allowed that to influence her career choice, where she now helps clients struggling to live a healthy lifestyle understand how to be one. Johnson’s proposal involved ways she could expand and develop her current business. Johnson attends TWU online and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nutrition. Johnson said: “I’m so grateful to be part of this initiative and it’s really amazing and inspiring to be a part of a group of amazing women entrepreneurs and the opportunity we’re presented with is really invaluable.”

Anna McGee

A graduate Kinesiology student, McGee feels called to open her own practice specializing in helping young girls feel comfortable and confident in themselves through volleyball. “I was 5’11 to six foot as a seventh grader and so volleyball was where I found being tall was an asset. I just want to give back to that, knowing where I was in seventh grade … junior high and high school girls are always going through something as they adjust to themselves and the world around them.”

Ayman Mehdi

Mehdi, a first-year pursuing a Nursing degree at TWU, created a business plan that combines the world of medicine with technology. Growing up, Mehdi heard her mother, a nurse, and businessman/software developer father, discussing how many of the preventable medical errors that her mother saw at work could be remedied by better understanding between medical professionals and the technology they use. Mehdi seeks to “simplify the process for healthcare professionals to chart and document patient details efficiently.” She elaborates, “In the future, there will be a huge need for a business that can build a bridge between medical professionals and technical innovators.”

Grace Muir

First-year Child Development student, Grace Muir, has dreams of implementing her business plan and opening an occupational therapy clinic that will serve children throughout Denton County. “I would like to open a local therapy clinic to serve my hometown. My business plan was inspired by both my parents and a willingness to serve others.” Muir is from Sanger, Texas and would like to open her clinic there. Muir plays the French horn in the TWU Wind Symphony and is “involved in several faith-based groups, including the Baptist Student Ministry and Overflow. My faith is what motivates me to be a person of service.”

Sarah Scharringhausen

Scharringhausen, a first-year graduate student from Carrollton, has a mission in life. She wants to open schools that focus on helping children with special needs and learning disabilities to succeed and flourish, “I want to make a difference for students who are falling through the cracks of our educational system.” Scharringhausen has utilized her driven and focused personality traits to create her business plan, and wants to apply her own personal experiences of dealing with a learning disability to that plan. “I want to provide various teaching techniques that I learned and used to succeed throughout my academic career,” she added.

“I want to make a difference for students who are ‘falling through the cracks’ of our educational system.”

-Sarah Scharringhausen

Sterling Stinson

Sterling Stinson, from Ponder, Texas, is pursuing a Bachelor’s in History here at TWU. Stinson is an Honors Scholar, as well as a Minerva Scholar. She plans to open and operate a specialized daycare center. At this daycare center, Stinson would like to include extended hours and have extracurricular activities available on-site. She hopes to target the growing and substantial market of children of working parents.

Mikaila Summers

Nursing student, Mikaila Summers, is from Wylie, Texas. Her nursing degree plan is cohesive, supportive and compatible with her eventual business plan, which is based in the medical field. Her business plan is centered on in-home healthcare and all the benefits that can provide. This business plan is special, because the market that she wants to target are residents in low-income neighborhoods.

Rutendo Thembani

Hailing from Harare, Zimbabwe, Rutendo Thembani is seeking to obtain an EMBA degree at TWU. She has created a business plan revolving around natural, eco-friendly and luxury beauty products. She plans on reaching a variety of markets, but her target market is focused on working women who are environmentally-aware.


  1. Kathryn Gray Kathryn Gray November 19, 2016

    These are very powerful women ..taking on the challenge. Bravo

  2. Adrienne Adrienne March 4, 2017

    Woohoo! You go, ladies! Very impressive lot.

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