Unity College’s Holt scholars combine theory with practice

Four students awarded funds for unique research opportunities

Four Unity College undergraduates were awarded Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarships and will receive funding to undertake a wide range of research and internship opportunities.

The Spring 2017 Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship recipients are:

•John Grant ‘19. The Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Hanover, MA, will take an animal care internship with the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass.

•Laurel Sullivan ‘18. The Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Felton, DE, will study location and abundance of baleen whales in relation to tidal changes and upwelling in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.

•Edina Jacox ‘17. The Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Chicago, IL, will serve an animal care internship with PAWS of Greater Chicago.

•Melanie Jackson ‘17. The Wildlife Biology major from Keene, NH, will study the relationship between body condition (health) and stable isotope values derived from the hair of bears.

Unity College President Melik Peter Khoury lauded the Holt family who donated the funds for the scholarships, saying it is an example of partnerships that work to educate Unity College students in the sustainability sciences.

“Each and every year, Holt scholarship recipients do projects, engage in partnerships, and conduct research that give them valuable tools they need to excel in next-generation careers,” Khoury said. “Sponsoring organizations see real benefits as a direct result of these students’ quality work. The Holt family has been instrumental in achieving all of these positive outcomes.”

Established at Unity College in 2010, the Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship Fund is a gift made possible by the Holt family in collaboration with the Maine Community Foundation. The purpose of the fund is to support juniors and seniors in challenging, experiential learning projects that are self-initiated, curriculum-based and approved by an academic advisor.

​Unity College was a major interest in Nick Holt’s life since 1973; he spent more than 20 years working toward accreditation of its strong environmental teaching program.  Holt was an architect, family man, befriender of strangers, Army veteran, marcher on Washington, sailor, and a lover of color, trees and light.

“The Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship was such a great opportunity for me,” said Joshua Pittendreigh ‘17. “I was able to intern at The Florida Aquarium as an interpreter which helped give me the opportunity to inspire thousands of guests to become stewards of the natural world. By serving on the Holt selection committee, I can now support other students in having the same valuable experiences.”​

“Unity College is grateful to the Holt Family for their commitment to give financial support to students to engage in these unique experiential learning projects,” said Erica Hutchinson, Chief Fundraising Officer. “Without their generosity, these real world experiences would not be available to the students. Mr. Holt’s passion for the environmental is evident in these student projects.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2017