Emeritus faculty member 'pays it forward'

11/3/2008 - By: Jane Tors

Meggin McIntosh, emeritus professor in the College of Education, depended on scholarships and loans for her own education.

“This was long before the phrase ‘pay it forward,’ but that captures what I knew I wanted to do,” said McIntosh. “I knew some day I would want to create a scholarship.”

After establishing an initial scholarship fund through the University Foundation, McIntosh – who taught workshops in goal-setting – contributed to it over the course of several years. The result is the Moultrie McIntosh and Helen McClure Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund named for her parents who strongly encouraged her to pursue her education.

As a student herself and later as a professor in the College of Education, McIntosh came to understand how difficult it is for those completing their student-teaching internships to also hold down an additional job. Her scholarship is specifically awarded to female students in their internship year.

“We hope that students don’t have to work during their internship. It is a job-and-a-half itself,” said Tom Sawyer, director of the College of Education’s Learning Resource Center. “Meggin’s generosity is humbling.”

Last week, Adriana Marin-Herrera was the latest in a long line of College of Education students to receive a scholarship from the McIntosh and McClure fund.

Marin-Herrera was born in Colombia and, when she was 16, moved to Sparks, Nev., where she attended Sparks High. She will soon return to Colombia and complete her internship at an American-sponsored school she once attended.

She, too, is paying it forward. Marin-Herrera says a special teacher at Sparks High served as her mentor and inspired her to pursue a degree and career in secondary education. She now looks forward to bringing what she has learned in this country back to Colombia.

She is not ready to write the chapter of her life once she completes her internship: Marin-Herrera may remain in Colombia, or perhaps will return to the United States or experience living in another country.

“I always wanted to go to college in the United States,” she says. “I knew it would open doors for me anywhere in the world.”

As she prepared to present the scholarship to Marin-Herrera, McIntosh said: “I cry about everything, so be prepared.”

The McIntosh and McClure Scholarships have been awarded for 12 years, however Marin-Herrera is only the second recipient that McIntosh has met. Although she said it was especially meaningful to have met some of the donors who helped fund her education, McIntosh felt it best to not know the recipients while she was teaching in the same college they attended.

Now, as emeritus faculty, McIntosh enjoys the opportunity to meet recipients.

“I am thankful to be able to do this,” she said.


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