Family remembering daughter with new scholarship

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, July 29, 2023

Delta State University has announced the creation of a new scholarship in the name of Taylor Cordel Skelton, a 2010 graduate of North Delta School in Batesville and a 2014 graduate of Delta State University. She graduated from DSU with a bachelor’s in social work and went on to earn a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama. She was a Ph. D. candidate at Walden University and was an Instructor of Social Work and the director of BSW Field Education at DSU. She was also the president-elect of the Faculty Senate and the faculty sponsor for the Eta Xi Chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society.

After Taylor’s death in a tragic car accident in September of 2022, her parents, Laurie and Phil Cordel, wished to establish a memorial scholarship to honor their daughter. “Taylor loved Delta State and decided that she would be a professor for the university while she was enrolled as an undergraduate,” said Mrs. Cordel. “Taylor had a passion for social work and wanted to help others achieve their goals. This scholarship is the perfect way to honor her dedication to her profession.”

Dr. Jana Donahoe, Chair of the Department of Social Work at DSU said, “What a wonderful way to carry on Taylor’s rich legacy at DSU. It is truly an honor to have a scholarship established in her name. Future students will benefit from this donation as it will assist them in completing their social work degree. The community will benefit when each scholarship recipient graduates and becomes a professional social worker. Taylor had a heart for people struggling with problems like poverty, mental health issues, child maltreatment, and substance abuse. This scholarship will enable those students to continue their education so they can provide compassionate and competent care to people needing help in the community.”

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Recipients of the scholarship must be enrolled as a Junior Social Work Major, have a 2.5 GPA or higher, and be a member of the Social Work Club.

Mrs. Cordel said, “Taylor loved all her students, but always had a soft spot for the underdog. She was so excited for the future of social work and the differences her students would make. We hope this scholarship helps students who are determined to succeed, no matter what challenges they face.”

For more information about the Department of Social Work at DSU, visit For more information about scholarships at DSU, visit