Adult learners receive first Osher Foundation Reentry Scholarships

May 07, 2009

The scholarships are helping 30 learners throughout the Penn State system complete their first undergraduate degree program

University Park, Pa. — A new Penn State scholarship program aimed at helping adult learners complete their undergraduate degrees has awarded its first scholarships to 30 students at eight campuses.

Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Reentry Scholarship is an award of up to $2,000, based on need, for one year. Unlike many college financial aid programs, which require students to be enrolled full-time to qualify, the Osher Reentry Scholarship is available to both full- and part-time students.

Martha Jordan, director of Penn State Outreach's Adult Learner Advocacy and Enrollment Services, said, "In today's economic climate, financial aid is even more critical to making a college education a viable option for adult learners who want to enhance their knowledge and skills to advance in their profession or move into new careers."

Jordan noted that there are more than 25,000 adult learners at Penn State — those 24 years old or older, veterans of the armed services, returning to school after four or more years of employment, homemaking or other activity, as well as holding multiple roles as parent, spouse/partner or employee.

To qualify for the Osher Reentry Scholarship, students need to be returning to college after a gap of five or more years to complete their first undergraduate degree program, expect to participate in the workforce upon graduation and be between the ages of 25 and 50, as well as have a need for tuition assistance.

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded by businessman and community leader Bernard Osher to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. Penn State is among 74 institutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia receiving funding for the Osher Reentry Scholarship.

The 2009 recipients of the Osher Reentry Scholarship are:

Penn State Abington: Kevin Heilig, information sciences and technology; Michael Pleasants, English; and Emily Slobodian, administration of justice.

Penn State Berks: Tracy Allen, elementary and kindergarten education; David Ecenrode, workforce education and development; Christopher Garipoli, organizational leadership; Gregory Lund, information sciences and technology; and Erin Macknight, Division of Undergraduate Studies.

Penn State DuBois: Ross Grady, Division of Undergraduate Studies; and Edward Williams, liberal arts.

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College: Julie Tomlinson, nursing.

Penn State Lehigh Valley: Jonathan Palsi, information sciences and technology.

Penn State Shenango: Robyn Bennington, human development and family studies; Buffi Kennedy, business; Beth Kwiatkowski, human development and family studies; Jean Morocco, business; Jennifer Nies, nursing; Laura Sanders, human development and family studies; Tracy Snyder, business; and Tamera Williams, nursing.

Penn State University Park: Karl Hamel, information sciences and technology; Carol Holt, security and risk analysis; Flavia Lucas, organizational leadership; Jeremy Moeller, education; and Timothy Townsend, organizational leadership.

Penn State York: Kehinde Ilugbusi, human development and family studies; Teresa Rebert, information sciences and technology; Matthew Shannon, business; Michael Swann, University College; and Yvonne Troutman, human development and family studies.

Adult Learner Advocacy and Enrollment Services is dedicated to extending and enhancing services to Penn State adult students — those who are 24 years or older, veterans, returning to college after four or more years of employment or those with multiple life roles. This unit provides more than 13,000 adult undergraduate students throughout the Penn State system with a one-stop environment for accessing all student services. For more information, visit online. Adult Learner Advocacy and Enrollment Services is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 80 countries worldwide.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 14, 2009