Kennesaw State University graduate students named Clendenin Scholars

From left: Ken Harmon, provost; Alissa Tertichny, recipient; Dan Papp, president; Mimi Endale, recipient; Tom Clendenin, trustee

Two students receive annual scholarship for graduate studies at Kennesaw State KENNESAW, Ga….

Georgia (Jul 18, 2014)

Two students receive annual scholarship for graduate studies at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga.  (July 18, 2014) — Kennesaw State has named two students – Etsegenet “Mimi” G. Endale, a Ph.D. student in international conflict management, and Alissa Tertichny, a student in the Master of Social Work program – as the first recipients of the Clendenin Scholars Program, which awards up to $20,000 a year to high-achieving students pursuing graduate degrees at the University.

Endale, who grew up in Ethiopia, served as a diplomat and was involved in the United Nations General Assembly. She gained experience in negotiation, problem solving and cultural competency by serving as a diplomat and working as a volunteer for refugee resettlement agencies. As a certified medical interpreter, she is fluent in Amharic and English. Endale, of Atlanta, has research interests in diaspora and refugee studies, peacekeeping and peace building, humanitarian intervention, African studies, social empowerment and gender studies. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and a master’s degree from Meiji University in Japan.

Tertichny, of Sandy Springs, plans a career in the holistic rehabilitation of survivors of sexual trauma and exploitation. She is currently pursuing a clinical graduate degree at Kennesaw State with a concentration in children and family services. Tertichny is the president of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society chapter at KSU and a member of several national and state organizations for social workers. Her research interests focus on sexual trauma, sex trafficking and the commercial exploitation of children, and she has been involved in the anti-trafficking movement since 2007. Tertichny earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international health from Clemson University in 2012.

“These two scholars have academic and professional records that make them models for graduate education at KSU,” said Tom Clendenin, a Kennesaw State trustee whose family provided the $1 million endowment for the program. “The Clendenin Scholars Program aims to recruit the best and brightest graduate students to study at this institution.”

The Kennesaw State University Clendenin Scholars Program, which attracted 83 applicants this year, provides scholarship recipients pursuing doctoral degrees with $20,000 a year, plus an annual out-of-state tuition waiver from Kennesaw State, and master’s degree recipients with $15,000 a year, plus an annual out-of-state tuition waiver from Kennesaw State.

The original Clendenin Graduate Fellows Program was established in 2008 with a $1 million endowment from the Clendenin family. That program sought to attract new candidates to the University’s graduate education programs and to retain existing KSU-affiliated individuals interested in pursuing advanced degrees. The previous awards funded recipients’ education either at Kennesaw State or other accredited universities. The new Clendenin Scholars Program redirects the awarding of scholarships to students enrolled exclusively at Kennesaw State University.  

“The two recipients this year are exemplary scholars with outstanding records of academic achievement. They have distinguished themselves as articulate and visionary student leaders, and have established a record of significant work within their disciplinary communities,” said Ivan Pulinkala, chair of the Clendenin Scholars selection committee. “The Clendenin Scholars Program at Kennesaw State exemplifies the institution’s commitment to supporting and developing academically gifted graduate students. We are grateful to the Clendenin family for their generosity and vision.”

Over the past five years, 35 recipients were awarded scholarships under the Clendenin Graduate Fellowship with 20 who have already graduated and earned degrees in programs such as information systems, nursing science, biological sciences, conflict management, educational leadership and business administration. Almost half of the recipients earned their advanced degrees at Kennesaw State.

Nearly 2,000 graduate students are now enrolled in one of Kennesaw State’s 29 master’s degree or eight doctoral degree programs.

For more information about the Clendenin Scholars Program, visit

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit