Three Nursing Students Inspire $240K in Endowed Scholarships at UA

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The wife of a former University of Arkansas faculty member has endowed $240,000 in scholarship money to the UA College of Education and Health Professions, in order to honor three former nursing students who provided medical care for her late husband.

Ann Marie Ziegler established the scholarships in their names because of the level of care the students gave her husband, Joe Ziegler, former chair of the school’s economics department, after he was disabled in a bicycle accident in 2008, and before he died in 2013, according to a UA press release.

The Theresa Rickert Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Meredith Warner Endowed Nursing Scholarship and Kristen Coleman Endowed Nursing Scholarship have all been established, with gifts of $80,000 to each, according to the release.

Theresa Rickert now works as a registered nurse at Mercy hospital in Rogers. She in her first year of nursing school at the UA when she met the Zieglers and worked with the family for two years, according to the press release. The scholarship named in her honor will be awarded to students who are enrolled in the nursing program and demonstrate financial need.

“I was very shocked to find out about the scholarship,” Rickert said in the press release. “It was unexpected, although I know how much the Zieglers have always loved the university. I guess you never realize how much a family appreciates your care until afterwards.”

Kristen Coleman now works as a registered nurse at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. The scholarship named in her honor will be awarded to a nursing student who has one or more dependent children and demonstrates financial need.

“When you’re in someone’s home, you become very close,” Coleman said in the press release. “I knew Ann Marie wanted to do something, but I was surprised when I learned about the scholarship. I’m very honored. I feel like I was meaningful to them — just as they were to me.”


Meredith Warner now works as a registered nurse in administration in a health clinic in Austin and has applied to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Arkansas, according to the press release.

The scholarship named on her behalf will be awarded to nursing students with a minimum grade point average of 3.5, who demonstrate financial need.

In addition to the three scholarships, Ann Marie Ziegler has also designated $10,000 to be used toward the Dr. Joseph A. Ziegler Experimental Economics Excellence Fund in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

According to the press release, the current economics department chair, Bill Curington, applauds Joe Ziegler for hiring the school’s first experimental economist about 20 years ago.

Today, five of the economics department’s 15 faculty members have this specialization, making it a strong point for the department.