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Grad School Awards Bring Promising Students

Three awards supporting star students will be focus of fundraising this year.

Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies programs have a well-deserved reputation for being a remarkable value, offering an exceptional graduate education at a competitive cost. What many prospective students don’t realize is that there are also several funding sources available that make Marlboro graduate programs even more attractive. Here are three awards that can bring a graduate degree within reach for students preparing to be tomorrow’s leaders—these awards will be the focus of fundraising for the graduate school’s 20th anniversary.

English For Refugees Fellowship
“A major reason why I decided to enter the field of TESOL was because I knew that my work could have an immediate impact on the world around me, especially here at home in the U.S.,” said Emily Engott, a student in the MAT in TESOL program. “Our refugee populations need and deserve the help of people with genuine and whole-hearted intentions.”

As a recipient of the English for Refugees Fellowship, Emily spent a year teaching English as a Second Language at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program in Colchester, Vermont, part of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants network. In her position, Emily gained valuable experience teaching multilevel classes of adult students hailing from Iraq, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and Nepal.

“The fellowship was the perfect opportunity to experiment with all of the language teaching methods I had learned, as well as to observe language acquisition theories playing out in each of my students’ learning journeys, said Emily. “On a deeper level, I think that teaching refugees really held up the mirror and forced me to take a look at myself. It forced me to be more patient, more grateful, and gentler not only with my students, but also with myself.”

Greater Good Award
“I’m looking to engage professionally in work that is creating a more just, equitable, and sustainable world,” said Will Neff, a student in the MBA program and the recipient of the Greater Good Award. This award recognizes incoming graduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to community through national service.

Will has worked in Boston as a public school teacher, after-school educator, and community liaison, and is now living in western Massachusetts and working as a carpenter. Although he was on the fence about enrolling in graduate school, the Greater Good Award helped him decide that he could afford the cost and that Marlboro had the MBA for him.

“Marlboro is different from other programs because of the emphasis on humanity and on community,” said Will. “Every person is valued for their uniqueness, and the perspectives they bring to the group. There is a sense that the community is a living and growing entity, that has a spirit and a vibrancy that is more than a collection of people pursuing a degree. Much of our society is in a time of evolution, and Marlboro is working with skills and values that support social frameworks to evolve and expand for the betterment of people and the planet.”

John Dewey Award
“The John Dewey Award made it financially possible to go through grad school without getting into much debt,” said Erica Zimmer MAT ’18, a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Teaching with Technology program and John Dewey Awardee. “I am not sure I would have pursued the master’s program without it.”


Erica works as a technology integration specialist at Rutland Central Supervisory Union, Vermont, and was able to get her teaching license through the MAT program. She hopes to apply her valuable new skills in her current role or to get a remote job working in either instructional design or web development.

“The best part of the program was that it was mostly online, which made it very convenient, and I liked that it was a small community and I got to know my classmates and professors on a personal level,” said Erika. “Marlboro is different from other graduate programs because they work hard at trying to build a community. I am currently enrolled in an online course that has thousands of people enrolled, and it is a bit overwhelming. You are not able to make connections as you do in a small class setting like at Marlboro.”

  • Emily Engott, recipient of the English for Refugees Fellowship.


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)