Justice studies grant in search of further funds

Heather Bing

Whether they’re called donations, gifts or funds, the department of justice studies is looking for them.

Students working toward a criminal justice degree who want to enter the profession after graduation may soon qualify for the first endowed scholarship program for justice studies if the program can get additional donations, said Mindy Aleman, associate director of planned giving for the University Development office.

The George A. Pownall and Kathleen D. Downing Pownall Scholarship began with an initial $5,000 gift from the Pownalls last year. In order for the fund to finance scholarships, it must grow through additional donations.

Aleman said individual name funds are set up with the understanding that the fund will raise enough money during several years to become a permanent award for the university and department.

“We allow our donors to build it up over time, usually five years,” she said. “When a fund reaches the $25,000 level, it becomes invested and earns interest. The annual awards given are from that interest.”

Aleman said the Kent State Foundation holds charitable gifts and invests those funds. While the foundation sets up and manages the monetary aspect of the Pownall scholarship, the awarding process will be done through the department of justice studies.

Mark Colvin, justice studies department chair, said the department is currently working with the Pownalls to raise the remaining funds for the scholarship.

“We have sent out over 2,000 letters for donations to alumni of the program to let them know we are accepting gifts,” he said. “The more it grows, the more we will be able to give, and the more students we will be able to help.”

The award will most likely be annual, Colvin said, but the department and the Pownalls are working to determine how students will be selected, the number of recipients possible and the amount of the awards.

Anyone can make a contribution to an existing fund, and all donations are tax deductible.

Pownall originated the justice studies internship program during his time as a professor at Kent State, Colvin said. Pownall worked to set up networking opportunities and paid internships for students, and that program continues today.

“This scholarship will continue his legacy,” Colvin said. “It will help those students going into law and working in the industry rather than those interested in a further degree or teaching.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected]