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Mansfield Magazine

Tarleton Nursing Student Recognized with Memorial Scholarship Honors

Aug 10, 2017 06:51PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

A memorial scholarship has been established to honor Jacey Smathers, a Tarleton nursing student who passed away early this year. The family signed paperwork Tuesday to endow the scholarship. Seated from left are Jacey's mother, Cheryl Baca, and Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio.

Jacey Smathers’ family turned its tragedy into a positive for students in Tarleton State University’s nursing program.

Smathers, a Tarleton nursing student, died from carbon monoxide poisoning early this year. An endowed scholarship in her name was created to help like-minded students.

“She loved being a nurse and having the opportunity to help people,” said her mother, Cheryl Baca. “She loved Tarleton so much. She was looking so forward to getting into a hospital setting, doing her clinicals.”

Baca signed paperwork Tuesday to endow the scholarship.

To qualify for the Jacey Smathers Memorial Endowed Scholarship, a nursing student must have completed coursework and advanced to the Senior 1 or Senior 2 level, maintain a 3.0 grade-point average and be a full-time student in good standing.

Additionally, candidates must have a passion for helping others and a positive impact on the Tarleton nursing department.

Endowment of the scholarship is currently $12,490, with $500 to be awarded each year beginning in fall 2018. To contribute to the Jacey Smathers Memorial Endowed Scholarship, go to

“This scholarship gives us the chance to keep Jacey’s dream of becoming a nurse alive by helping other students fulfill their own educational and career goals,” Baca said.

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Tarleton, celebrating 100 years as founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. As a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service.

All content courtesy of the Tarleton Press Release.

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