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Journey Brings Alumna Back to Comet Roots, Inspires Creation of Scholarship

During a visit to campus last fall, Jeanne Glorioso BA’91 (center) visited with international political economy senior Naresh Bhusal and political science senior Cassandra Lizardi, who were both recipients of the scholarship Glorioso established.

Remembering what it was like to not even have a bed to sleep in, Jeanne Glorioso BA’91 wanted to help students with challenging circumstances. That’s why she established a scholarship for undergraduates in need in 2015.

Five years into her decision to give back, the senior vice president with Frost Wealth Advisors has made a significant impact on the lives of four students. The Jeanne Glorioso Scholarship supports full-time students in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) who have overcome economic barriers and/or are single parents or guardians.

Naresh Bhusal, an international political economy senior, received the 2018 Jeanne Glorioso Scholarship. He was valedictorian of his high school in Nepal, where he endured poverty, abuse and violence. After he graduated high school, the lack of opportunities made it impossible for him to continue his education, and the doors to further education in his home country were closed to him.

“Those were dark days,” he said, “but the happiest days of my life were getting my visa to attend college in the United States and then winning the Glorioso Scholarship. I felt as though I was in a tunnel of darkness and suddenly there was a bright light. I am so grateful for Jeanne Glorioso’s generosity. I could not have done this without her.”

The 2019 scholarship winner, Cassandra Lizardi, is a political science senior who wants to work in inner-city communities to improve the lives of those who live there.

“I want to affect change in poor communities,” she said. “I rose out of an economically disadvantaged area, and I want to help others do the same. I feel responsibility toward them.”

Glorioso understands the struggles of these students. She herself was a single mother who escaped an abusive marriage.

“UT Dallas taught me not only the information I would need, but how to apply the information in real-world situations. With this scholarship, I wanted to help disadvantaged students believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”

Jeanne Glorioso BA’91

“My economics and finance degree from UT Dallas has been instrumental in my success,” Glorioso said. “I still use formula sheets saved from some of my finance classes. UT Dallas taught me not only the information I would need, but how to apply the information in real-world situations. With this scholarship, I wanted to help disadvantaged students believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”

Difficulties began for Glorioso soon after she married at 18. The couple had a daughter, but after a divorce, she had little money and few options.

“We really struggled financially,” she said. “We had no furniture and used cardboard boxes for tables. We had two sleeping bags and a boom box. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay the rent. There were times I didn’t know where the next meal was coming from.”

Glorioso took a job as a secretary for a businessman. She handled his investments and kept track of his money. He encouraged her to continue her education.

“I vowed that someday I would understand finance and I would be able to explain it to anybody who wants to understand it,” she said.

Glorioso began to wait tables at night and attended school full time at UT Dallas. In 1991 she graduated magna cum laude and now specializes in providing financial advice to other women, some of whom, she said, have never written a check in their lives.

Glorioso’s advice to all students: “Work hard, learn the material [do not just memorize to pass the tests], pay attention to details, be proactive about networking, do what you say you are going to do, do the right thing, and you will succeed in whatever it is you choose to do.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

Tagged: EPPS