By Alexandra SheaOctober 16, 2019
Earlier this year renowned wildlife biologist Angela Nicole Chadwick-Hawkins passed away while working on Fort Jackson's training grounds. Known to many as the "woodpecker lady" and her preferred name "Nicole Hawkins", she was best known for her efforts to bring the red-cockaded woodpecker population back from the endangered species list. During her memorial, Family members, friends and the people she worked with said losing her has left a void that can never be filled.
As those closest to her continue their healing process, many have taken the time since her death as an opportunity to continue her work both as a wildlife biologist and as an advocate for women in a field of study often dominated by men.
One coworker and close friend, Josh Arrants from Kalispell, Montana, took the opportunity to remember Hawkins by working with Sara Green, executive director of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, to establish a scholarship in her name geared to further assist women studying in the field of biology.
"Nicole Chadwick's passing was a devastating loss for South Carolina's wildlife conservation community," Green said in a press release. "Honoring her legacy with the new memorial fund will ensure SCWF can continue to empower students who are pursuing environmental fields. Education remains a top priority within SCWF's mission because we recognize wildlife habitat conservation depends on future generations."
The scholarship will offer full-time students an opportunity to compete for a $500 scholarship. Requirements to compete for the scholarship includes completing an online application that addresses a student's educational goals, career focus, employment, volunteer experience and a short letter of recommendation from a supporting faculty member.
The deadline for scholarship applications is October 31. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and selection and selectees will be announced in January 2020.
"I'm extremely passionate about the scholarship, Nicole was a dear friend of mine. We called each other brother and sister even though we weren't related," Arrants said. "She contributed so much to the natural resources, conservation, and the environment in South Carolina that I felt it was integral to honor her legacy and to help the next generation of conservationists and wildlife biologists."
Hawkins was also known for being a fierce friend. During her June memorial ceremony held at Fort Jackson, many friends and coworkers spoke of her nature and character, often referred to her as a sister without having any familial ties.
"She was the greatest boss you could have dreamed of working for. She was singularly responsible for opening doors and providing opportunities for me as a professional and a person," Arrant said. "How can we make something positive out of such a tragic loss? I have been fortunate to team up with SCWF and assisting the next generation of female conservationists."
While the deadline for the scholarship is approaching, the scholarship is reoccurring and will be available for future opportunities until funding is depleted. For more information or to apply for the SCWF Nicole Chadwick Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit http://www.scwf.org/chadwick-fund.