$3,000 in Scholarships, Prizes Awarded to WT Students in Holiday Instagram Contest





CANYON, Texas — Not everything is bigger in Texas. A West Texas A&M University student traveled to the world’s tallest building in her successful effort to win the University’s recent holiday break Instagram scholarship contest.

Sheffin Hibba, a sophomore wildlife biology major from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, submitted a selfie of her flashing the Buff hand sign in front of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The photo—one of more than 50 submissions—was chosen the winner by the Office for Academic Affairs, and Hibba received a $1,000 scholarship.

She said that as soon as she saw the contest announcement, taking a photo in front of the world-famous Burj Khalifa was a no-brainer.

“Coming here is a dream, and a $1,000 scholarship means so much to me,” said Hibba, whose parents are natives of India. “This helps my parents so much. When I was applying for colleges, my mom prayed and felt that God said the first university I was admitted to should be the one we chose. I didn’t know what to expect here, but all of the people and professors and my church family at the Wesley Foundation have been so amazing.”

The five-week contest solicited photos from students taken over the winter break in December and early January. In all, more than $3,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded in the contest.

“We wanted students to show our followers just how far they’re carrying the lessons they’re learning at WT, whether close to Canyon or all the way around the world,” said Dr. Amy Andersen, associate provost. “‘From the Panhandle to the World’ is more than a motto; it’s a way of life for our students.”

Four photos were chosen weekly based on engagement and shared to an Instagram story with a 24-hour poll. Voters chose their favorites, and winners received their choice of a maroon or gray WT-branded backpack. Other prizes included WT-branded shirts, tumblers and stickers.

On Jan. 13, all of the submitted photos were judged by a committee of Academic Affairs staff members, who chose the top four scholarship winners.

Second place went to Savannah Caudle, a freshman animal science/pre-vet major from Copperas Cove, for her photo of her standard poodle Hazel with the WT logo dyed in its fur. She won a $750 scholarship.

Third-place winner was Lexi Busby, a junior criminal justice major from Coke, for her selfie taken on a ski vacation in Keystone, Colorado. She won a $500 scholarship.

And fourth place went to Ryan Walden, a sophomore sports and exercise science major from Cotton Center, for his selfie on his 2015 Suzuki RMZ-250 on a motocross track in Lubbock. He won a $350 scholarship.

To enter the contest, students submitted photos of themselves wearing or holding WT gear that clearly showed the logo and tagged the WT Instagram account (@wtamu).

To view all of the submitted photos, visit the WT Instagram account.

The scholarship contest helps lessen students’ financial burden so they can focus on succeeding inside and outside the classroom, as laid out in the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $115 million.











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