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A Shared—and Sharing—Passion for Public Health Education

Couple With Careers in Hospital Administration, Nursing Start Endowed Scholarship

By Bemnet Faris

Jeffrey and Michelle Rivest

Photo by John T. Consoli

The Jeffrey and Michelle Rivest-Dean’s Council Maryland Promise Scholarship, the first through the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program to target SPH students, will provide both financial and programmatic support.

A couple who devoted their professional lives to the health care industry and education have committed $50,000 to create and endow a scholarship giving priority to local School of Public Health (SPH) undergraduates with financial need.

The Jeffrey and Michelle Rivest-Dean’s Council Maryland Promise Scholarship, the first through the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program to target SPH students, will provide both financial and programmatic support.

“We believe in the value of public health in creating healthy, thriving communities,” Jeffrey and Michelle said in a statement.

The Rivests' Maryland roots run deep. Jeffrey received his bachelor of science degree in zoological sciences from UMD in 1975 while Michelle received her bachelor of science in nursing in 1975 and her master's in 1979 from the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

They share a history of providing leadership and philanthropic support to Maryland institutions that benefit public health. Jeffrey’s service as campaign cabinet chair on the University of Maryland School of Public Health Dean’s Council speaks to his commitment to the school’s mission to fearlessly promote health for all. Michelle’s service on the University of Maryland School of Nursing Board of Visitors reflects her passion for sustaining excellence in undergraduate and graduate nursing education.

“We wish to honor the hard work and determination of future public health leaders by establishing this scholarship,” they said. The fund will provide need-based scholarships to students who are residents of the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia with preference given to those who are Pell grant eligible and first-generation college students at a specified income level.

With the knowledge that financial support is only one part of the puzzle for college success, recipients of the scholarship will have access to programs and activities that support their transition into higher education and ensure their personal and academic success through graduation and beyond. These support services may include peer and cohort group mentoring programs and activities, coursework exclusively available to Maryland Promise Scholars, individualized tutoring programs and special academic advising.

Thanks to the generosity of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and the university, all gifts to the scholarship will be matched dollar for dollar during the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program. Others may donate any amount to the scholarship, which will benefit SPH students for decades to come.

 

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