Published: March 20, 2024

Eight University Libraries and Laughing Goat student employees have been selected to receive the 2023-24 Laughing Goat Endowed Scholarship.

“Student employees are an important part of the University Libraries and the Laughing Goat and we are pleased to recognize their contributions with this scholarship opportunity,” said Sean Babbs, Rare and Distinctive Collections instruction coordinator and member of the selection committee. “These students were selected based on their work, scholarship need, impact their positions had on their personal and academic journeys and how the scholarship will set them up for continued success.”

The scholarship recipients—Buby Admasse, Finn Cruit, Allie Garner-Hall, Abigail Major, Isabelle Saunders, Lola Swanson, Emari Terry, and Amber Weber—were selected from a competitive pool of 47 applicants.

The scholarship was established in 2020 by the University Libraries and the Laughing Goat Coffeehouse to recognize the unique contributions Libraries’ and Laughing Goat student employees have made to fulfill and advance its mission and values.

“Libraries student employees and Laughing Goat employees make our ecosystem function, and make the University Libraries a welcoming place for all,” said Katie Sparks, success & engagement librarian and another member of the selection committee. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Laughing Goat to provide this scholarship to acknowledge the hard work our students do to make the Libraries great.

Meet the 2023-24 scholarship winners:

Buby Admasse

Bethel (Buby) Admasse is from Aurora, Colorado and she is a fourth-year student studying environmental studies. She works at the University Libraries in the mailroom as a clerk.

“My start at this university was a little rocky,” said Admasse. “Because of the pandemic and other personal, unforeseen circumstances, I needed to take some time to care for myself. During my time off, I connected with advisors that were willing to help me out with coming back to CU Boulder and finishing my classes. Through this, I learned about other resources and opportunities I can be a part of as I got my feet back, which I truly am so grateful for.”

Admasse started her work study at the library in August 2022. “Working at the library was one of the few things that helped me stay connected and grounded in Boulder, and was the introduction of a new, welcoming community for me,” said Admasse. “I opened up to my supervisor about my struggles with college, and she listened with an open ear and assurance that it would all work out in the end. By having trusted faculty members, both at Norlin and on campus, I was able to really trust that I was capable of what I wanted to achieve.”

Admasse said that receiving this scholarship not only aided her academic career financially, but also encouraged her to have faith again. “I am excited to be continuing my education here at Boulder, and with this I was able to not worry about this semester financially,” Admasse said. “I am truly honored and grateful to be receiving this scholarship, for it has also helped me gain more confidence in myself. As a student who thought that all hope was lost for me in my first few years here, I never thought that this could happen to me, and I'm truly blessed to be accepting this award.”

Abigail Major

Originally born in Kentucky, Abigail Major grew up in Bosnia Herzegovina and has spent the last twelve years in Colorado. “I traveled a lot as a kid, and that informed a lot of my values that I hold today,” said Major. 

Major is a second-year psychology student pursuing a minor in writing and public engagement. She is also a resident advisor and a research assistant. In her freetime, she is a member of a ministry on campus and does country swing dancing on the weekends.

Major began working for the library last year as a security guard and after a semester was promoted to shift lead for her team. “I really enjoyed working at the library over the summer,” said Major. “Some of my favorite parts were training new guards, getting to know my supervisors better, and of course playing Mario Kart with my coworkers during break.”

Upon receiving the scholarship, Major decided to put it toward her future education. “My lifelong dream is to be a clinical psychologist, so my plan is to go to grad school as soon as my career at CU has come to a close,” explained Major. “Higher education has limited funding, so I was really excited when I was awarded. It helps me set myself up for success and to try and avoid student debt for as long as possible.”

Allie Garner-Hall

Allie Garner-Hall is from Pueblo, Colorado and graduated second in her class from Pueblo South High School. She is now a sophomore studying biomedical engineering. Garner-Hall has been working at the University Libraries since her freshman year as an assistant building management student. In her freetime, she enjoys bullet journaling, playing soccer and baking. 

“My favorite part about working for the Libraries is getting to know the people around me,” said Garner-Hall. “Life is always going one hundred miles per minute, but when I am working I am reminded to slow down and learn from the coworkers around me.”

For Garner-Hall, receiving the Laughing Goat Scholarship was a relief because it meant someone else believed in her. “As silly as that sounds, my sophomore year of college hasn’t exactly been as smooth as I hoped for,” Garner-Hall admitted. “Between getting diagnosed with ADHD, college and adulting I was having a pretty hard time adjusting. Being awarded the Laughing Goat Endowed Scholarship reminded me that even though I have doubts and worries, I can work hard enough to be successful.”

Finn Cruit

Finn Cruit is from Longmont, Colorado and is a third-year student majoring in music performance. He is also working toward a minor in writing and public engagement from the Program for Writing and Rhetoric. 

Cruit has been working as a circulation assistant at the Music Library since October 2021. 

“I enjoy a lot of things about working in the Libraries,” said Cruit. “I genuinely love to help people out, and as an added bonus, I have found the circulation processes to be incredibly useful in my own research and study.”

Receiving the Laughing Goat Scholarship has given Cruit the stability that has benefited both his academic and personal life. “Like a lot of undergraduates, I'm struggling with finances and this scholarship has given me room to breathe,” he explained. “It came at the right time and I'm incredibly grateful.”

Emari Terry

Emari Terry is a freshman from Aurora, Colorado and she is studying integrative physiology. She has worked at the University Libraries since August 2023 in preservation where she preserves and repairs books, prepping them to have a long shelf life. Terry likes that it is easy to find things to do at CU Boulder and get involved in on campus. 

“I enjoy working for the Libraries because it is a hands-on job that gets me away from the computer screen for a while,” explained Terry. “I have a great team around me that are always so supportive and made my transition from high school to working in college very smooth.” 

Terry said that receiving this scholarship has helped to foster personal growth and has been a reminder to stay on top of her academics. “This scholarship has encouraged me to further challenge myself with my academics and explore other interests of mine now that I've received some financial relief,” she said.

Amber Weber

Amber Weber is from a small rural town in Arkansas and spent her first year of college at Purdue University where she studied aviation. This past semester she transferred to CU Boulder and is now studying finance and accounting with a minor in economics.

Weber started working at the University Libraries in fall 2023 as a security student assistant at Norlin Library. 

“The community at CU and at the library has been a major driver of my happiness since I've been here,” said Weber. “Through receiving this scholarship, I have been able to focus more on school because part of my financial burden has been eased.”

Lola Swanson

Lola Swanson is a junior at CU Boulder having recently transferred from Santa Barbara City College. She grew up in Redding, a town in Northern California. Swanson began working at the Laughing Goat in Norlin Library and at the Pearl Street location in August.

“I love CU and working in Norlin because of all the wonderful people you get to meet. It's a great way to submerge yourself in the Boulder and CU community,” said Swanson. “When I received this scholarship, it went straight to my parents to go towards my tuition bill. They have sacrificed so much for me to go to school here so I used the money to help out as much as I can.”

Isabelle Saunders

Isabelle Saunders is from Boulder, Colorado and is a sophomore majoring in English lit and minoring in Spanish. She has been working as a student archivist in the Rare and Distinctive Collections’ archives since the fall semester of her freshman year. Her role at the Libraries is to organize archives collections so researchers can find materials more efficiently.

“I really enjoy looking at the history in the collections,” said Saunders. “I love learning more about relatively unknown Colorado and University of Colorado Boulder history while sorting through the files for months at a time. I have always been interested in archives and libraries, and this job has allowed me to experience the best of both worlds in both of my dream careers.”

Receiving this scholarship has allowed Saunders to focus on her studies and avoid having to find a second job. “Last semester I was concerned about how I was going to pay for school supplies and living essentials because of my tuition,” explained Sauders. “That stress has largely been eradicated because of this scholarship.”

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