Abigail Carr, a junior in mechanical engineering, was studying at Ireland’s Cork Institute of Technology when the U.S. State Department’s Level 4 Travel Advisory ended her semester abroad.
“I had no idea where I was going to live upon my return,” says Carr, who faced a 14-day quarantine and couldn’t go home to St. Louis because of high-risk family members.” I had already paid rent in Cork, so I had little funds to support myself and no way to get a job.”
Carr received help with her airline flight fees and quarantine housing costs in Rolla through the Miner Resilience Fund. “Without this help, I would have been scrambling,” she says.
For many S&T students, the struggle between financial stability and insecurity is always present. COVID-19 has pushed the accelerator. In March, S&T established the Miner Resilience Fund to help with student emergency needs, online program development and other challenges triggered by the pandemic.
“The Miner Resilience Fund is a safety net for our students during this troubling time,” says Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “We are building the resiliency required to weather this storm and recover from it.”
A number of donors stepped up to support the fund. University trustee Joan Woodard, Math’73, was one of the first. “When we are faced with a global crisis, we need all hands on deck to help,” she says.
Trustee Mike Bytnar, ME’68, MS EMgt’73, was another.
“The end of this semester has been devastating for students,” Bytnar says. “They need encouragement and support.”
For Dehghani, the fund is “a bridge between the uncertainties of today and a stronger tomorrow.” Trustee Peggy Montana, ChE’76, sees that bridge as vital.
“I worked my way through college with scholarships, a residence hall position and summer work,” Montana says. “The pandemic has taken away most of those opportunities for our students.”
For information on the Student Emergency Fund, visit stuaff.mst.edu/emergency-fund. Student need remains high. To contribute to the Miner Resilience Fund, visit give.mst.edu or contact Tory Verkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.