Sportsmen's Club of Fort Worth


Harry Tennison Scholarships

Commencing in the year 2003, the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth has awarded annual scholarships to deserving students in the name of Harry Tennison, one of the Club’s founders. For the 2009 academic year, one scholarship in the amount of $2,500 was awarded.Scholarships are generally in amounts of at least $500 and up to $5,000 each to be used for one year of study at an accredited college or university located in the State of Texas. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership, academic achievement, strong character, financial need, and an interest in pursuing an education and career related to outdoor and/or wildlife management, conservation, research and/or education, all as determined by the Club’s scholarship selection committee.

2013 Scholarship Recipients

Melissa Giresi, PhD; Dave Terre,TCAFS Endowments Chairperson; Michael Dance, PhD

The Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society has completed its internal selection process and have selected the two candidates below to receive the Harry Tennison Fisheries Scholarships for 2013. Below are short biographies for these two candidates.

Michael Dance (Ph.D. – Texas A&M University – Galveston)
I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I was an avid fisherman from my youth. I was always interested in in fisheries and the marine environment which influenced my decision to attend Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where I received my B.S. in Marine Biology. I later received a M.S. in Biology from the University of West Florida, where I worked under Dr. William Patterson studying the ecological function of artificial reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. My thesis research focused on changes in community structure at artificial reefs sites over time, with specific emphasis on large fishery species such as snappers and groupers. I am currently a PhD candidate in Wildlife and Fisheries at Texas A&M University under Dr. Jay Rooker, at the Galveston campus, studying habitat use and movement patterns of juvenile and sub-adult red drum in Texas estuaries. I am currently using several complimentary approaches including acoustic telemetry, GIS mapping, and quantitative modeling to better understand and prioritize conservation of essential fish habitat for this important fishery species.

Melissa Giresi (Ph.D. – Texas A&M University)
I graduated from Boston University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Biology. After graduation, I worked for a semi-conductor company (Analog Devices) in Wilmington, Massachusetts for three years as an analyst and manager, gaining experience in data analysis and leadership. During this time, I continued to participate in field research with Greg Skomal, a professor at UMass Dartmouth and my interest in fisheries science continued to grow. In 2009, I left to pursue a graduate degree in biology/genetics at Texas A&M University under Dr. John Gold and Dr. Gil Rosenthal. My dissertation work is focused on elucidating population structure of Mustelus canis, the dusky smoothhound shark, in U.S. waters, and the utilization of molecular and morphological markers to distinguish among smoothhound sharks in the genus Mustelus in the U.S. Atlantic.
Pursuant to the completion of my PhD degree in 2014, my immediate goal is to supervise a laboratory that uses molecular markers to assess population structure of exploited marine fishes to prevent overfishing and to utilize morphological characters to assess differences within and between populations to assess biodiversity. My long-term career goals involve a more active role in management, where I can oversee projects and work to establish cooperative fisheries practices across political boundaries, domestically and internationally.

Scholarships are available to students who:

  • Are residents of the Fort Worth, Texas or the general surrounding area
  • Have graduated from a public, private or parochial high school located in such area (with at least a “C” or equivalent class average)
  • Currently attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university located in Texas that offers significant fields of study and/or degrees with respect to outdoor and/or wildlife management, conservation, research and/or education.

Scholarship benefits will be awarded in the form of gifts. To download a copy of the Club’s scholarship application form CLICK HERE, or write to the Club’s scholarship committee at the address specified below. Please note that June 15, 2014 is the deadline for submitting applications to the Club for the scholarships to be awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year.

If you have any questions and/or need any additional information please do not hesitate to contact the Club’s scholarship committee at:

Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth
Attn: Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 470393 Fort Worth, Texas 76147