With determination and a work ethic that caused professors to take note, Zenobia Early progressed in her STEM studies, netting a science scholarship to help her keep going. (Courtesy photo)

by Liaudwin Seaberry Jr. —

LeMoyne-Owen College student Zenobia Early could not believe her eyes when she checked her email and realized that she was among the recipients of the First Annual Rooted in Science scholarship. 

The prestigious award is provided to 11 African-American female rising juniors and seniors, who are striving for careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industry. The scholarship is $5,000 per year.

 “I had to double-check and check again to make sure that it was really true,” Early said nervously. “I am really grateful to have received the award, because I was not even sure that my name would really even be in the mix.”

The Rooted in Science Scholarship, sponsored by noted hair-care brands Royal Oils by Head and Shoulders and Gold Series from Pantene, selected these hard-working women pursuing STEM degrees from HBCU’s and UNCF (United Negro College Fund) schools.

Early’s enthusiasm for STEM grew during her later years of high school and continued to get her through some difficult classes at LeMoyne-Owen. 

She learned to persevere through previous struggles in the classroom and professors such as Dr. Daniel Osbourne noticed that Early’s work ethic and dedication to success made her stand out.

“I taught Zenobia during some very inconvenient circumstances last semester,” Osbourne said, noting the online classes institutionalized due to COVID-19.

“What stood out to me about her included her determination and work ethic. Those qualities of hers pushed her through my course, Organic Chemistry, which happens to be one of the most challenging courses an undergraduate can undertake in the STEM department.”

“Zenobia has a bright future in the STEM industry, and I am proud to have had her as one of my students,” Osbourne added. “She’s determined to succeed and I think that will get her far in the industry.”