Scholarship Recipients and Donors Meet

Recipients of six scholarships and some of the donors who made them possible met on Oct. 2 at a College of Education reception held at the University Club. It was an evening characterized by laughter and deeply-felt exchanges of appreciation.

“It means so much to me to meet the students who received the scholarships,” said donor Alma Keilty, who created the Joseph W. Keilty Scholarship in memory of her husband. “I’ve read their letters of thanks and it is wonderful to put a face to the name.”

Keilty Scholarship recipients Heidi Bohler, Marsha Bryant, and Catherine Lynch attended the reception. Lynch, a doctoral candidate, spoke about how the Keilty scholarship impacted her life.

“I saw a bumper sticker the other day when driving home on Route 2 that read, ‘Too bad the people who know how to run the government are too busy teaching school.’ My first thought was, ‘Where can I get that sticker?’ That statement speaks to the work I am doing in my doctoral program in educational policy and leadership,” Lynch said. “I'm interested in the ways education is political, and how we can and should educate students, particularly in higher education, how to be engaged, responsible, and active citizens, as opposed to just active participants in the workforce.”

“I had no idea that being a full-time graduate student was possible,” she continued. “I recently graduated from the Master's program in higher education here at UMass and realized that I don't want to stop. When I was considering the doctoral program, though, I thought, ‘I don't have any money,’ so I applied for the Keilty Scholarship. Then I forgot about it, really, and when I saw the letter from the Dean of the College of Education, I thought, ‘Uh-oh. What's happened?’ I had to read the letter several times before it sunk in.”

“I would like to thank Alma Keilty, and I'm so glad to have this opportunity to meet her in person and be here tonight,” Lynch said. “Mrs. Keilty has come here all the way from San Diego which I think is wonderful. So thank you, thank you for this
opportunity to make a difference.”

Kathryn Stead, a first year student in the Secondary Teacher Education Graduate Program and a recipient of the Grace Norton Carney Scholarship also spoke to the group. Stead said that while she was “thrilled” to have been accepted in the College of Education, “the financial reality of paying for Graduate School set in and I was uncertain how I could afford the cost of living while paying for more school at the same time.”

“When I opened the letter that told me I had been awarded the Grace Norton Carney Scholarship, I was shocked and had to read it five times to be sure this amazing gift was really for me! It gave me hope,” she continued. “I wish that someday I will be in the position to bring hope to future UMass Amherst College of Education students as the donors have brought to me. I am eternally grateful to them.”

Other scholarship recipients who attended the reception were Rachel Boit and Laurice Ann Guillory, Early Childhood Education Scholarship recipients; and Michelle Lee, recipient of the Meline Kasparian Scholarship.

Also attending the reception were Dean Christine B. McCormick, Associate Dean Linda Griffin, College of Education Department Chairs Rich Lapan and Jerri Willett, members of the Dean’s Leadership Council, representatives from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Massachusetts Society of Professors, and other guests.