The University of Arizona

The Marianne Cooke Johnsen Endowment in Mathematics


This scholarship aims to reward promising, well-rounded, female Math Majors.  Anyone may gift to this endowment. The endowment that funds this scholarship was established by Melissa and Randy Johnsen in honor of their mother. Marianne was a UA alumna who majored in Psychology but loved, and dedicated much of her work, to mathematics and the teaching of mathematics.


The Marianne Cooke Johnsen Endowment was created by Melissa Johnsen and Randy Johnsen in honor of their mother. Marianne earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1948, but it was her love of mathematics and teaching that inspired many students over her 30 year career. After a move to the San Francisco Bay area with her family, Marianne began working as an elementary school teacher in the Palo Alto school district. She was chosen to develop, implement and manage a successful program for gifted students. Cooke Johnsen went on to become a mathematics consultant for the district of 17,000 students. During this time, she authored five mathematics text books used by the district, primarily for children from 3rd to 6th grades.

Application Information

Eligibility: Rising Junior Women Mathematics Majors
Frequency: Once a year, in Spring
Amount: $500 (minimum)
Application Period: Spring, due date around April

Students interested in applying for this scholarship must be entering their Junior year (submission of application should occur at the conclusion of the Sophomore year), a declared Mathematics or Mathematics Education Major, female, and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition, applicants are asked to submit an essay along with their application. The essay, of 500 words or less, should address:

  1. Why I chose to be a Mathematics or Mathematics Education Major
  2. How I will use my degree upon graduation from the University of Arizona

The essay, which should focus on how the applicant wants to positively impact society, will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Committee or by a Scholarship Committee designated by the Department Head. They will also be included in the annual Johnsen Family newsletter and will be distributed to donors and friends of the Marianne Cooke Johnsen Endowment in Mathematics.

Deadline:  First Friday in April.

Past Recipients

  • Sarah Sylvester, Spring, 2017
  • Nakonechny Lauren, Spring, 2016
  • Courtney Olds, Spring, 2015
  • Alexis Jane Torre, Spring, 2014
  • Laura Nakolan, Spring, 2013
  • Taylor Corcoran, Spring, 2012
  • Ashley Anhalt, Spring, 2011
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