Barry McNamara  |   Published December 17, 2015

New scholarship

College announces Deborah and Mark Kopinski Scholarship in Global Food Security
Monmouth College announced today the establishment of the Deborah and Mark Kopinski Scholarship in Global Food Security. The Kopinski Scholarship will be awarded to three upper-class students working in Monmouth College’s Global Food Security Triad, reducing or replacing the loan portion of their financial aid packages. The scholarship will also provide funds to support enrichment activities connected with their work in the Global Food Security Triad.   In 2014, Monmouth College established Global Food Security as its first Triad. The Triad brings together three academic disciplines – in this case, anthropology, biology, and economics – to focus on an issue of social importance. The Kopinski Scholarship is endowed by a gift of $500,000 from Mark and Deborah Kopinski of New York City. Mark is a 1979 graduate of Monmouth and currently serves as vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Deborah, have had extensive careers in international business and education.   “Debbie and I are proud to support the creation of this scholarship fund,” said Mark Kopinski. “When we say ‘global,’ we also understand that food security is an issue for our local neighbors, not just something that happens ‘somewhere else.’ The Triads represent the innovative, engaged, and forward-looking nature of a Monmouth College education. No college can stand still, and Debbie and I are happy to be able to play a part in helping Monmouth lead.”   Deborah Kopinski added, “Mark and I also wanted the scholarship to address another important issue –the cost of college. Monmouth works hard to be a place of high opportunity, offering generous scholarships and financial aid. This new scholarship will help in that effort by alleviating the loan portion of the recipients’ financial aid packages, and will also provide support for enrichment activities connected to the Food Security Triad.”   Mark Kopinski also noted that “It is fitting that Global Food Security is the first of the College’s Triads. Monmouth is located in the heart of one of the world’s great breadbaskets – over half of the corn and soybeans produced in the U.S. is grown within a hundred-mile radius of campus. In fact, gifts of farmland – some of the richest land in the world – comprise an important part of Monmouth College’s endowment. These gifts strengthen the endowment significantly, and play an important symbolic role as well.”   The Global Food Security initiative ranges across the College’s programs, but at its core is led by three dynamic young faculty members – Megan Hinrichsen in anthropology, Ramses Armendariz in economics, and Eric Engstrom in biology.   Said Hinrichsen, “We cannot overestimate the transformative effects such a gift can have on the lives of our students. As a recipient of similar scholarships as an undergraduate, I can attest to the impact of such a level of support and encouragement.”   Armendariz stated that “Significant financial support from generous donors at this early state in the development of the Monmouth College Global Food Security initiative will help to ensure the long-term success of this unique program.”    Engstrom added, “This type of support recognizes and highlights the significance of food security to our society, and it will open up possibilities for motivated students that might otherwise have remained out of reach.”
Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt stated that the establishment of the Kopinski Scholarship in support of the Global Food Security Triad “embodies several of Monmouth College’s key strengths.   First, it captures an innovative approach to teaching and learning that breaks down artificial boundaries among academic disciplines; creates opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning, in which students work with faculty and staff to ‘do the discipline,’ not just observe; and enables young people to use the power of the liberal arts to create positive change in issues of vital importance, on local, national, and global stages. Second, it highlights the leadership of a dedicated faculty and staff to engage students in a full program of human development, not just monitoring progress toward completing degree requirements. Finally, the Kopinski Scholarship is further testament to the vision and generosity of Monmouth’s supporters, traits especially evident in the lives of Deborah and Mark Kopinski.”   More information regarding the Global Food Security Triad is available from David Timmerman, Monmouth’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.
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