The Penny Todd Scholarship

Penny Todd, who passed away in 2016, was a visionary leader of AMA Houston. Penny served the Chapter as President in 2007–2008 and is credited with the monumental growth in our membership base and programming. Under her tenure, the Chapter received the prestigious Chapter of the Year Award, besting 74 other chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Before and after her presidency, Penny perfected her vision of creating a philanthropic arm for the Chapter. Her tenacious belief that our Chapter must give back to non-profit marketers and marketing students led to the creation of the AMA Houston Gives Back program.

In 2016, the Houston marketing community said goodbye to Penny after a long and courageous battle with cancer. But her dream of giving back remains strong and is embedded in each of our board members. We realize the significance of marketing careers and believe in guiding and supporting future marketers. Because of Penny, the spirit of giving back to the marketing community is the heart and soul of AMA Houston. We launched the Penny Todd Scholarship in her honor in 2016 and have since awarded more than $21,000 to deserving Houston-area undergraduate college students majoring in marketing or a related field. This year, we are pleased to announce we will award up to $5,000 in Penny’s honor.

Corporate and individual donations to the scholarship fund are open year-round.

Applications for the 2022 scholarship are open through May 16, 2022.


Applicants must:

  • Have a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) or greater on a 4.0 scale
  • Either be attending college or university in the greater Houston area, or have graduated from high school in the greater Houston area. Applicants from colleges or universities throughout Texas are welcome to apply, provided they graduate high school in the Houston area.
  • Be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university with a declared major in marketing, advertising, graphic arts, media or related field of study.
  • AMA Houston Penny Todd scholarship(s) will be awarded without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or national origin.


Applicants are solely responsible for gathering and submitting all necessary information. All information submitted is confidential and will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee appointed by the AMA Houston Penny Todd Scholarship committee chair(s) and AMA Houston executive officers.
Students must submit:

  • A completed application form that provides contact information, statement of financial need, grade point average, related coursework listing, volunteer/extracurricular activities, and community involvement.
  • An essay outlining career goals, and/or reason(s) for selecting marketing as a career, how the scholarship will impact those goals, and what receiving the scholarship would mean to them and their future career. Response should be no more than 750 words.
  • A minimum of two (2) recommendations from qualified adults who are not family members but can speak with authority to the applicant’s attributes and character. Examples include professors, coaches, club sponsors, administrators or staff, clergy, community leaders, etc.
  • Proof of enrollment at an accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university.
  • An official transcript provided by the school in which the applicant completed their last semester of course work.
  • Samples of marketing coursework; for example, a marketing plan or campaign materials developed as part of coursework or through volunteer work. Group projects should be labeled as such, and the applicant’s contributions made clear.


Applications will be reviewed by a judging committee made of the AMA Houston Executive Committee and officers, Houston area CMO’s, and other marketing leaders. The recipient(s) of the Penny Todd Scholarship will be contacted in May, and awarded at the AMA Houston June Luncheon.


The Penny Todd Scholarship committee and its judging committee will select the scholarship recipient. All decisions are final. The selection committee may consist of AMA Houston board members, AMA leadership in other chapters, AMA Houston chapter volunteers, marketing leaders, and marketing educators.

Any sitting member of the scholarship committee will refrain from participating in the selection process if there is the potential for a conflict of interest including personal, professional, or familial relationships.

Scholarships awarded will be based on the scholarship committee selection procedures and available funds.

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, financial need, participation in school and community activities, and recommendations. The committee will individually score applications based on an agreed-upon point system. The applicant, or applicants, with the highest scores win. Not all applicants will receive a scholarship.

Evaluation criteria and weight
School and community involvement (20 pts)
Personal essay (25 pts): please pay attention to grammar and spelling as it may influence the judges’ score.
Academic achievement (30 pts): this includes the applicant’s current GPA and their relative coursework and coursework samples.
Two recommendation letters (25 pts)


Scholarship payments will be authorized by the Penny Todd Scholarship Committee and processed by the AMA Houston Executive Director. Checks will be made payable to the scholarship recipient’s school or university and specified for use of the recipient identified by name and student ID number.


Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in their education programs no later than the fall of the year in which their awards are given. Recipients must notify the AMA Houston Executive Director of any changes of address, school enrollment, or other pertinent information relating to disbursement of scholarship funds.


The general conditions and procedures under which scholarships are made are subject to periodic review by the AMA Houston Board of Directors, including termination of the program.