RSU Senior Awarded Ruth E. Richards Rising Star Communicator Scholarship

girls holding large check

Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Tulsa Chapter President Teri Bowers (left) presents Rogers State University senior Destanie Powell with an oversized check in recognition of Powell’s receiving the AWC’s Ruth E. Richards Rising Star Communicator Scholarship. Powell is a senior at RSU, majoring in strategic communications. In addition to being AWC Tulsa chapter president, Bowers is the RSU-TV educational programming content and production manager.


A Rogers State University communications student has been named as a recipient of the Ruth E. Richards Rising Star Communicator Scholarship.

Awarded by the Tulsa Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), this scholarship is granted to two exceptional female college students pursuing degrees in the communications field.

Destanie Powell of Tulsa was the scholarship recipient from RSU. She was awarded the scholarship at the 48th annual Newsmakers Awards Luncheon at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa May 3.

“I heard about the scholarship directly through (RSU-TV educational programming content and production manager and AWC Tulsa President) Teri Bowers,” Powell said. “I applied for it over spring break and was actually live streaming on Twitch when I read the great news that I was chosen to receive it.”

After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Powell first attended Tulsa Community College before enrolling at Rogers State University in 2022.

“I met Destanie after speaking to a communications class last fall,” Bowers said. “I encouraged her to attend an AWC Tulsa networking event to learn more about the organization and make connections with women who could help her job search after college.

“When I arrived at the event, Destanie was already there – working in the room,” she continued. “I was so impressed with her initiative and outgoing personality. Destanie will be a great asset, no matter where she lands after school.”

Powell said that this scholarship will help her finish her degree in strategic communications from Rogers State University.

“I’m the last and only child of eight kids to receive a higher education bachelor’s degree,” she said, “and winning this scholarship means I’ll be able to financially afford my last semester of college, that I’ll be able to walk across the stage and receive my BA in strategic communications when I graduate.”

Powell is a senior, slated to graduate from RSU at the end of the fall 2023 semester. Following graduation, she hopes to work with companies such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, or Apple, expecting “great opportunities” ahead, made possible by her education.

“Rogers State University has allowed me the ability to sow my vision and dreams of being the first college graduate in my family,” she said. “Over time, that seed I planted has been shaken, stirred and nearly withered away – yet the community that exists at RSU has sustained and continuously watered my hopes.

“There’s a Zulu saying that has resonated with me through my education: ‘Lapho unisela khona, kuzokhula’, which loosely means ‘Where you water, something will grow, so water where you want something to grow’,” she said. “Since graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 2018, I’ve cultivated, watered and planted a garden of my own. I have a green thumb that yearns to succeed more and to uplift others who are destined for greatness.”

The Association for Women in Communications is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era. The Tulsa chapter has a longstanding presence in the community, representing a variety of communications disciplines in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.

Rogers State University’s Department of Communications offers a Bachelor of Arts in communications with majors in strategic communications, broadcasting and new media, or communication arts, as well as communications minors.

For more information, contact RSU’s Department of Communications at 918-343-6825 or visit