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Helping Students Reach the Finish Line

January 02, 2020

Mark and Sharon Inzetta
The Mark and Sharon Inzetta Endowed Scholarship

Although Mark and Sharon Inzetta are not Mount Union alumni, their sons Adam ’09 and Richard ’10 had impactful undergraduate experiences during their time on campus. Recognizing the influence that Mount Union had on the lives of their sons, the Inzettas continue to support the institution through meeting with students and creating The Mark and Sharon Inzetta Endowed Scholarship.

Mark, chief legal officer at Sbarro, and Sharon, nurse coordinator for The Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Center for Breast Health at Summa Health, feel the community that was fostered by members and advisors of Alpha Tau Omega and the wrestling team helped create a positive environment for their sons.

“Balancing academics with being in the fraternity and participating in athletics gave them a core group of people from all different backgrounds and really provided some of the best experiences they had,” Sharon said.

Mark and Sharon continue to have a presence on campus, as Sharon’s role at Summa Health makes it easy for her to be engaged with Mount Union’s nursing program. Both have participated in the Office of Alumni Engagement’s “Dinner with 12 Raiders” event that strengthens the connection between current students, alumni, and friends.

“We want to, in our own small way, give back to the University and make certain it continues providing the same experience to current and future students as it provided for Adam and Richard,” Mark said. “It was a great experience for them, and we want it to remain that way for others.”

Airianna Culler '21
Recipient of The Mark and Sharon Inzetta Endowed Scholarship

Airianna Culler ’21, of North Canton, Ohio, had several offers to play softball from other schools, but ultimately chose Mount Union because it had more to offer her than just athletics.

Culler’s initial plans were to play softball and study engineering, but those plans would soon change after an injury on the diamond prevented her softball career from moving forward. Once her injury healed, she decided to switch her major to exercise science and throw shot put and javelin for the track and field team.

Although the injury was a major setback to her plans, Culler explains that her failures, change of majors, and athletic switch only made her stronger.

“I learned that sometimes you have to fail to succeed,” she said.

Culler goes on to say that this switch has only made her excited for her future and has taught her so much about herself and the things of which she is capable. She initially struggled with being away from home and in a new environment, as well as the internal battle of seeing her perfectly laid plans go awry. This adversity helped her become a better person, proving she should never give up on herself.

Culler thanks the Inzettas and other donors because she could not have done it without them and their support. The Inzetta Scholarship is currently helping her with her long-term plan.

Upon graduating, Culler hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy. As a result of this scholarship, she is able to focus more on her academics and less about finances. With an extended academic plan, this scholarship is helping her focus more on her future goals.

The financial peace of mind has motivated Culler to continue her track and field career, as well as excel academically and explore her passions. She is grateful to family, friends, and donors for supporting and continually pushing her to achieve each step of her exciting new plan.

John ’66 and Carla McIntosh
The McIntosh Scholarship

When talking to John ’66 and Carla McIntosh, it is easy to decipher that their passion for education runs deep.

Carla, a retired teacher with decades of service to Canton City Schools, still volunteers at Knox Elementary in Beloit, Ohio when she can. After a few decades of his own in education administration, John now supervises some of Mount Union’s student teachers when they are in the field as a post-retirement opportunity.

Following in their footsteps, their daughter Danielle (McIntosh ’01) Hawk has been teaching since she graduated from Mount Union and was recently hired as principal of Malvern Elementary School in Malvern, Ohio.
“I had an exceptional education at Mount Union that propelled me into my career immediately following graduation,” Hawk said.”

Suffice it to say that the McIntosh family cares about students’ educational journeys. The Mount Union legacy they have created by endowing The McIntosh Scholarship is simply one way they give back to the institution.

“From my perspective as an educator and a parent, I’ve been around a lot of educational settings and I can say that few have the facilities, programming, and environment like Mount Union,” John said. “The University has not stood still and is always exploring new programs to offer students so they can get employed when they graduate.”

Though Carla is not an alumna of Mount Union, she still feels a connection to the institution through her family and community engagement.

“Danielle loved her time at Mount Union, and as a parent, that makes you feel proud to be part of this community,” Carla said. “Students can get bogged down with debt, and we just want to help them finish their education for their future.”

The McIntosh’s want to lessen the financial burden of a college education for deserving students and their families so that this generation of students can create unique legacies of their own.

Monica Haines ’20
Recipient of The McIntosh Scholarship

Like the McIntosh’s, community is important to Monica Haines ’20. When looking at her collegiate options, Haines visited 10 different institutions, but Mount always stood out at the top.

“I knew I wanted a smaller school, and there was a very welcoming community as soon as I stepped onto campus at Mount,” Haines said. “It felt like home right from my first visit.”

Haines, like countless others Purple Raiders, has made lifelong friends during her time at Mount Union and speaks glowingly about the support she has received from the faculty on campus, stating that she has “a support system around every corner.”

Mount Union’s Department of Education allows first-year students to sit in P-12 classrooms, where they discover which grade level they feel they would be best suited to teach.

“I found out pretty quickly that I didn’t want to teach kids how to do 2+2, and I also didn’t want to teach kids how to do calculus, so I found a nice medium in being a middle childhood teacher,” Haines said.

A Massillon, Ohio native, Haines’ community connections will grow even more by attending Mount Union and student teaching in the Louisville School District this upcoming spring. She has also experienced hands-on learning through peer mentoring and service-learning programs in the Alliance and surrounding communities.

Haines’ positive experiences at Mount Union have resonated with her family as well, with her sister already accepted to enroll as a first-year student in fall of 2020. Without the support of the Mount Union community, the Haines family legacy at Mount Union might not have been possible.

“When you see that initial amount your first year, it is tough to believe you can afford to go to college,” she said. “If it wasn’t for scholarships like the one I received, a Mount Union education would not have been accessible.

“It’s very helpful that people who have seen the impact that Mount has on them, or on their children, give back to help make this possible for current students, and I am grateful for that.”

Jim ’73 and Pam (Richards ’73) Kimble
The Willard and Vivian Richards Scholarship

While living in The Last Frontier of Alaska, Pam (Richards ’73) and Jim ’73 Kimble have maintained a unique connection with Mount. From their time as undergraduates, to returning as faculty members, and seeing their children graduate from Mount Union as alumni, the Kimbles are the embodiment of the value of a Mount Union education.

“It was a huge privilege to come back as a faculty member and prepare teachers at Mount Union,” Pam said. “For me, it was a full circle that was beyond my imagination, and I still keep in touch with a lot of my former students.”

They endowed The Willard and Vivian Richards Scholarship, which is named in honor of Pam’s parents, who made financial sacrifices to help Pam and her sister attend college and achieve their goals.

“We want to be able to help Mount Union stay accessible to all students who want to attend, including the ones whose families think a Mount Union education is beyond their financial abilities,” Pam said. “I like to give back to the University so that other people can do the same thing and pay it forward, because somebody paid ahead to help me.”

While a faculty member, Jim saw how important the Mount Union experience was to first-generation college students and wanted to help make sure those families were supported.

“To many families for whom Mount Union was a first experience with higher education, they are often challenged with resources,” Jim said. “The liberal arts experience, both in and out of professional programs at Mount Union, helps make better people, and I certainly want to support that.”

The Kimbles hope the next generation of Mount Union students embrace the institution as their own, just as it became theirs when they attended in the 1970s.

“You attach to Mount Union in different ways at different stages of your life, but no matter what, it’s great to be a part of Mount Union for the rest of your life,” Pam said.

Urgela Figaro ’23
Recipient of The Willard and Vivian Richards Scholarship

Although she has only been on campus for a few months, Urgela Figaro ’23 has already created a path for her future success.

The Uniontown, Ohio native knew of Mount Union and was referred to check out campus by her father. Ultimately, she chose to attend because of the welcoming atmosphere that has continued throughout her first semester.

“I like the vibe of the community here, and the people that I have met make Mount Union feel like a second home to me,” Figaro said.

Figaro is already active on campus through her involvement with the Black Student Union, and she has declared a major in international affairs and diplomacy, which she chose as a result of a desire to learn more about current global issues and possible solutions.

Along with The Willard and Vivian Richards Scholarship, Figaro is also a recipient of the Manzilla Multicultural Award and the Founder’s Scholarship, and she states that all three were instrumental in her decision to attend Mount Union.