NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University women’s track and field athlete Diera Taylor was named the Skeeter Scholar by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Clarksville Alumnae Chapter this summer. The honor, which includes a scholarship for the fall semester, was awarded at the Wilma “Skeeter Scholar” Rudolph Gala.
“It means a lot to me to win this award,” Taylor said. “It was amazing to find out that I was nominated and won the award. It was shocking, and it helped a lot for my mom to find a way to pay for school this last semester.
“To receive an honor associated with Wilma Rudolph is amazing because she has been an inspiration to me for everything she overcame to win Olympic medals.”
Each year, a scholarship is presented to a female student-athlete from Tennessee State University (in honor of Wilma Rudolph’s college Alma Mater) or Austin Peay State University (in honor of Wilma Rudolph’s birth city). The Gala honors Rudolph, who was the first African American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympic.
“First of all, it’s an honor because of who it’s named after, Wilma Rudolph. That’s an honor in itself,” TSU Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice said. “I’m elated that Diera was selected for the award and what comes with it is the scholarship.”
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Taylor will cap her collegiate career in the fall as she competes for TSU’s cross country team. At the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, Taylor was a member of the winning 4x400m relay team in 2015 and the 4x100m relay squad in 2013. During her time at TSU, the Tigers have captured gold at the 2015 OVC Outdoor Championships and the 2014 Indoor Championships.
“Diera has contributed to the relays tremendously,” Cheeseborough-Guice commented. “This last year, she stepped up to the plate to help us win the 4x400m relay (at the OVC Championships). I was excited that Diera was on that winning team.”
Taylor is on track to graduate in December with a degree in health sciences.