Fund launched for Indigenous students in STEM following missing professor’s death in Cache County

Jul 2, 2024, 12:19 PM | Updated: 12:54 pm

Megan Hamilton, a decorated STEM professor for Utah State University and Weber State University, we...

Megan Hamilton, a decorated STEM professor for Utah State University and Weber State University, went missing and was found by authorities Tuesday, June 25, 2024. USU launched a STEM scholar fund to help Indigenous students study the field and carry her legacy. (Katarina Pantic, GoFundMe)

(Katarina Pantic, GoFundMe)

LOGAN — A new scholarship fund was launched Tuesday in honor of a decorated STEM educator, Megan Hamilton, who recently died.

Hamilton was reported missing and endangered by the Riverdale Police Department on June 25, 2024. Later that day, authorities located her body. They said there was no indication of foul play, and they believed she was suffering from a “mental episode.”

Utah State University then launched The Megan Marie Hamilton STEM Scholar Fund, which will support students studying a STEM field who are also members of a federally recognized Native American Tribe. The fund aims to extend Hamilton’s work and legacy after her passing.

Hamilton had Anishinaabe heritage, and dedicated much of her work to helping Indigenous peoples and other historically marginalized groups through STEM.

“As she honored her ancestors’ love, light, and resilience, we will continue to share Megan’s light by helping provide the path forward for other Indigenous scholars,” the university said.

According to USU, Hamilton was the first doctoral student in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences program at the college. She earned awards for her research throughout the program, including the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services Legacy of Utah State award in 2019.

She also served as vice president and president of the Instructional Technology Student Association, and vice president and treasurer of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science at the college.

“Her compassionate and intentional instruction made her loved dearly by her students and colleagues,” the college stated.

Before she earned her doctorate, Hamilton taught middle school classes in Tooele County and high school at Jordan School District. Hamilton then worked as an assistant professor for USU Extension.

In 2022, Hamilton became the assistant professor of STEM education at Weber State University, where she was working at the time of her death.

“Megan was loved dearly by so many, and we will continue to honor her work and her legacy,” USU stated. “Chi Miigwech.”

Donations to the scholarship fund can be made through USU’s website.

A *GoFundMe was set up by colleagues and friends of Hamilton’s, where donations can be made to aid her husband and young children with funeral expenses.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Fund launched for Indigenous students in STEM following missing professor’s death in Cache County