Funding roundup

Monroe Community College students thank Robin and Timothy Wentworth (pictured right, top row) for their gift of $4 million to help kick off the MCC Foundation's fundraising campaign. (Photo: MCC)

In New York, Monroe Community College (MCC) alumni Robin and Timothy Wentworth returned to their alma mater to inspire the community to invest in MCC. The Wentworths joined the MCC Foundation to give a boost to the $50 million “Every Bright Future Needs a Strong Foundation” campaign, and made their own contribution of $4 million.

Their gift, the largest in the college’s history, will expand the Wentworth Family Endowed Scholarship program at MCC to provide full scholarships to 100 MCC students each year. MCC plans to name its arts building in the couple’s honor.

To date, $39.5 million has been raised for the campaign to increase the number of scholarships available to MCC students.

“A $50 million campaign is one of the largest for a community college and is ambitious,” MCC President Anne Kress said at the event. “Our inspiring and generous alumni and community understand the remarkable impact MCC has. They know firsthand the incredible futures that result when we work together to invest in our students. They know their support truly changes lives.”

The Wentworths serve as the campaign’s honorary chairs.

“Every dollar given is an investment in our school, our community and our future leaders,” said Timothy Wentworth, president and CEO of Express Scripts. “MCC opens doors that might otherwise be closed to talented students. Robin and I know firsthand the value of scholarships and the MCC experience. We are changing the lives of others through our involvement in MCC and our investment in scholarships.”

In 2016, Timothy Wentworth received the American Association of Community Colleges’ Outstanding Alumni Award.

Also in New York, Queensborough Community College has received five more years of funding from the National Institutes of Health for the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program. With this latest grant of nearly $1.6 million, the college will focus on training and graduating more underrepresented science students, and help them transfer to baccalaureate programs in biomedicine or behavioral science. The work will be done in partnership with Queens College and City College.

Since 2002, the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program at Queensborough has helped hundreds of students. Overall, 83 percent of participants transfer and 72 percent complete in biomedicine/behavioral baccalaureate degrees. Besides taking on rigorous coursework and research opportunities, students in the program receive transfer counseling.

Arizona

Mesa Community College (MCC) alumus Karl Schroeder and his wife, Aurelia, are starting a scholarship fund to help MCC business students.

Karl Schroeder is president of the Seattle Division of Albertsons Companies (Safeway). He manages approximately 240 stores in Washington, Alaska and Northern Idaho. Schroeder serves on the Western Association of Food Chains, whose mission is to raise funds for educational opportunities for food industry employees.

He credits earning an associate degree from MCC in 1987 for putting him on track to earn a bachelor’s degree and rise through the ranks of the food industry.

“Early on, I had doors open for me because of just the little education I had, which was an associate degree and a certificate,” Schroeder said. “Plus, I picked up important skills I needed for the job. So, I tell them, yes, you can be successful in the grocery industry without a degree, but why not get it and move up maybe even faster than I did?”

The scholarship is being awarded for the first time this fall, with preference given to students who are the first in their families to go to college.

California

The California Community College Board of Governors is awarding a total of $8.5 million to 59 community colleges to help them bolster and expand Veterans Resource Centers. These centers are dedicated to providing veterans and active duty service members with tools for academic success and the support they need as they transition from a military environment to an academic setting.

Annually, the state’s 114 community colleges enroll approximately 80,000 veterans and active duty service members.

Student veterans at Santa Monica College hang out in the Veterans’ Resource Center. (Photo: SMC)

Santa Monica College (SMC), which has enrolled nearly 1,000 student veterans each academic year for the past five years, received $200,000 in grant funding. The SMC Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is a one-stop shop where student veterans have access to academic tutoring and counseling, a computer lab, therapy and referrals to community resources and other veteran-serving programs in the West Los Angeles area.

The center plans on developing a military-to-academics transition workshop, organizing a student support group, networking events and other services exclusively for female veterans. There also are plans to host transfer advisors and veterans resource staff from four-year colleges and universities in the region.

Golden West College will use its grant funding for an academic financial aid counselor.

“Our academic counselor’s focus will be on helping students maximize their financial aid, before tapping into their Veterans Affairs benefit,” said Susana Castellanos-Gaona, manager of GWC’s Student Success and Support Program, and its Student Equity Program. “We find that many veterans are using up their VA benefits early and we want to make sure that they save these funds to use after they transfer to a university, when their monthly expenses may be much greater.”

Funding also will be used for outreach activities to increase veteran participation and overall veteran enrollment at the college.

Illinois

Rend Lake College will use a $97,853 grant to train and prepare coal miners for mine emergencies. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. A growth in mining activities is expected for the region.

Maryland

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) received $10,000 from The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) to establish a TPP Pathways Scholarship Fund. The new scholarship will provide financial assistance for CSM students in the Southern Maryland Pathways Program, which also supports STEM workforce development at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). As part of the Pathways Program, students can do an internship with NAWCAD with a possible employment opportunity upon graduation and completion of all program requirements.

South Carolina

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (OCtech) will help more nursing and health science students thanks to a $25,000 donation from First Citizens Bank.  The donation will serve as seed money for the First Citizens Endowed Scholarship and sponsors the faculty boardroom in OCtech’s new Nursing and Health Science Building, projected to open in spring 2019.

“As our population ages and more chronic illnesses are diagnosed, the need for nurses and other clinical healthcare workers continues to rise,” President Walt Tobin said in a release. “This new building will help expand OCtech’s tradition of training quality, knowledgeable healthcare professionals to care for our community for years to come.”

Washington

Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) Tribal Enterprise Advancement Center for Community Marine Research received a $2.6 million National Science Foundation grant. The college will use the funds to gain a better understanding of the marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea. Goals of the project include increasing the current capacity of water quality monitoring and the safety and sustainability of seafood. Research also will provide analysis of biotoxins in seafood and Salish Sea waters for Lummi Nation and NWIC.

The center is affiliated with the Salish Sea Research Center, housed at the college, and partners with the Lummi Natural Resources Department of the Lummi Nation.

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.