Scholarship recipient hopes to pass on passion for reading

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 20:52

DENTON (UNT), Texas — As a high school student, Atticus Shaskan was captivated by classics like The Great Gatsby, 1984 and Flowers for Algernon.

Now a senior at the University of North Texas, Shaskan is pursuing a degree in education in hopes of helping other high school students develop the same love of reading his teachers gave him.

Shaskan was recently awarded four scholarships from the College of Education to help pay for his last year of school. Without the scholarships, Shaskan said he might not have been able complete his education.

“My highest hope for my future students is that they become independently interested in reading,” said Shaskan, 22, who graduated from L.D. Bell High School in Hurst. “Reading can be a lifelong pursuit, and it can bestow incredible benefits on us.”

The College of Education handed out roughly $150,000 in scholarships to 131 students, including Shaskan, who spoke at the college’s annual scholarship banquet Oct. 24 (Thursday) at Apogee Stadium. The banquet was sponsored by Verizon. 

Byron Killen, a longtime donor to the college, also spoke at the banquet. Killen and his wife, Jan, created the Bessie and Joe Killen Education Scholarship, intended for full-time undergraduate and graduate students majoring in education and seeking teacher certification.

To learn more about how philanthropic support is transforming UNT or to make a gift, visit


About UNT’s College of Education

UNT’s College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher’s training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education and certifies about 1,000 teachers a year — making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region.

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