CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced that multiple students at WT won a scholarship after entering a holiday break Instagram scholarship contest.
Officials detailed that the Office for Academic Affairs awarded Shefin Hibba, a sophomore wildlife biology major from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a $1,000 scholarship after Hibba submitted a selfie in front of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Photo of Hibba courtesy of West Texas A&M University
“Coming here is a dream, and a $1,000 scholarship means so much to me,” said Hibba, whose parents are natives of India. “This helps my parents so much. When I was applying for colleges, my mom prayed and felt that God said the first university I was admitted to should be the one we chose. I didn’t know what to expect here, but all of the people and professors and my church family at the Wesley Foundation have been so amazing.”
According to officials, more than $3,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded during the five-week contest which had students submitting photos taken over the winter break in December.
“We wanted students to show our followers just how far they’re carrying the lessons they’re learning at WT, whether close to Canyon or all the way around the world,” said Dr. Amy Andersen, associate provost. “‘From the Panhandle to the World’ is more than a motto; it’s a way of life for our students.”
Officials noted that four photos were chosen weekly based on engagement. The photo was then shared to an Instagram story with a 24-hour poll. Weekly winners won prizes that included a maroon or gray WT-branded backpack, WT-branded shirts, tumblers and stickers.
All the submitted photos were evaluated and judged by a committee of Academic Affairs staff members who then chose the top four scholarship winners, officials detailed.
Savannah Caudle, a freshman animal science/pre-vet major, took home second place and received a $750 scholarship for a photo of her dog Hazel with a WT logo dyed in its fur.
Photo of Caudle courtesy of West Texas A&M University
Third place winner was Lexi Busby, a junior criminal justice major, for a selfie taken on a ski vacation in Keystone, Colo. Busby received a $500 scholarship.
Photo of Busby courtesy of West Texas A&M University
Fourth place winner was Ryan Walden, a sophomore sports and exercise science major, for a photo of himself on his 2015 Suzuki RMZ-250 on a motocross track in Lubbock. Walden received a $350 scholarship.
Photo of Walden courtesy of West Texas A&M University
WT released all of the submitted photos which can be found on WT’s Instagram page.