Giving Opportunities

Thank you to everyone who gave a gift to the Columbus Program in State Issues this past year. Your contributions help to enrich the Kent State experience of our students.

The Columbus Program in State Issues gives Kent state students from all academic majors valuable work experience and 15 academic credit hours while living, working and studying in Ohio’s capital city. Over the past two decades, Kent state students studying business, psychology, criminal justice, journalism, education and more have spent their fall semester in Columbus and learned how the public sector interacts with their chosen profession through internships in their field of interest.

While the university subsidizes the cost of housing in Columbus, many internships are not paid. The scholarship funds allow students who support themselves through jobs in Kent to come to Columbus and participate in the program through internships at the Statehouse, Legal Aid, community and advocacy organizations in their areas of interest. The awards are intended to encourage students who have demonstrated the capacity to achieve educational and professional goal, the motivation to achieve these goals, and the initiative to seek opportunities to further their progress.

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The three scholarship funds are:

  • The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Eta Tau Lambda Chapter Scholarship Fund —  This scholarship supports students of color who face financial barriers to participation in the program. With more than 500 chapters throughout the United States and abroad, Alpha Phi Alpha is and remains the oldest Black Greek-Letter College Fraternal organization in existence. The Eta Tau Lambda Chapter was founded in 1960 in Akron Ohio and continues to foster the development of tomorrow’s leaders.
  • Jack Gargan CPII Scholarship Fund — Dr. Jack Gargan, a noted scholar of Ohio politics, left an endowment to help students with financial need to join the Columbus Program in State Issues. Professor Gargan taught innumerable graduates of Kent State University who went on to become leaders in state and local government; his spirit lives on in this scholarship fund.
  • Vernon and Barbara Sykes Endowment Fund for the Columbus Program — Senator Vernon Sykes of Akron, emeritus professor of the Kent State Department of Political Science, formalized and directed the Columbus Program for close to 20 years. The Sykes’ endowment ensures students do not face financial barriers to participating in his career-launching program.

The funds have grown through donations of program alumni, political leaders, University advocates and others dedicated to service learning through Ohio’s great public universities. Your donation allows the program to develop more of the young leaders who will guide Ohio’s future.