October 16, 2013
Morton Bahr '83, '95, president emeritus of the Communications Workers of America
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Oct. 17, 2013) SUNY Empire State College has announced The Morton Bahr Online Learning Scholarship recipients for the 2013-14 academic year.
They are Kenya Coleman of Albany, N.Y., Jennifer Jacob of Hilton, N.Y., John Lawrence Llewellyn, Jr. of Matamoras, P.A., Jordan Marsh, of Glens Falls, N.Y. and Mendy Thorsland of Rock Stream N.Y.
The Bahr online scholarship supports students enrolled in the college’s Center for Distance Learning studying to complete their bachelor’s online and was created in the name of president emeritus of the Communications Workers of America and college alumnus Morton Bahr ’83, ’95.
Bahr is nationally recognized as one of the labor movement’s leading experts on technology and information-based industries.
Available to anyone across the country, the Bahr online scholarship expands access primarily for union members and other workers by providing financial support leading to a high-quality SUNY Empire State College degree.
“Congratulations to the 2013 scholarship recipients,” said Bahr. “Today’s jobs are rapidly changing and increasingly complex, which places new demands on working men and women. Lifelong learning and online education are now becoming part of mainstream employment. A scholarship to Empire State College provides working men and women with help paying for college, the opportunity to learn online while holding down a job and the skills they need to keep learning throughout their lifetime.”
“I join Morton Bahr in congratulating the 2013 scholarship recipients,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Many recipients have taken advantage of the Bahr online scholarship to get their bachelor’s in labor studies with the goal of starting or advancing a career with organized labor. Several more have earned degrees in other areas, such as nursing, business, human services, or any number of others. The Bahr online scholarship helps working men and women pay for tuition and Empire State College helps them complete a bachelor’s while they are balancing jobs, families, community commitments and a combination of all three.”
Kenya Coleman is the current vice president for CWA Local 1141.
“On behalf of everyone at the Center for Distance Learning, I congratulate all of our students who received the 2013 Morton Bahr Online Learning Scholarship,” said Tom Mackey, dean of the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “As each student profile demonstrates, our learners are exceptional and consistently strive for excellence in the pursuit of their degrees. We appreciate the generosity of Morton Bahr for making these opportunities available.”
“I have personally felt a sense of pride and joy in making the decision to earn my bachelor’s at Empire State College,” said Coleman. “We all have set goals in our lives, some have failed and some have succeeded, but this aspiration has given me the courage to move forward. I appreciate the opportunity given to me and others to pursue our dreams and a better future. Thank you Morton Bahr and Empire State College.”
Jennifer Jacob, of Hilton, N.Y., is a member of CWA Local 1170.
"The Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College is an extraordinary asset for adult learners and I am honored, not only to be a CDL student, but also to be a role model as a recipient of the Bahr Scholarship," said Jacob.
John Lawrence Llewellyn, Jr. is a member of the International Association of Firefighters, Local F-7.
"I am excited to be recipient of the Bahr online scholarship because it gives me another standard to strive for,” said Llewellyn. “President Emeritus Bahr ideas and writings on the lifelong nature of learning really struck a chord with me. I feel that the example Morton Bahr's has set will motivate me not only to get the most out of my educational experiences, but also to encourage others to do the same."
"None of this would have been possible without the support I received from my wife and kids, my parents and sister, Robert Santamoor, chairman of the IUE-CWA Conference Board, Vincent Vines, secretary and treasurer of the IUE-CWA Conference Board, and all of the Aunchmans, my wife’s family. They've been beyond supportive from the beginning," said Marsh.
Mendy Thorsland, of Rock Stream, N.Y., a member of New York State United Teachers.
“I am truly honored,” said Thorsland. “I have enjoyed my experience at Empire State College. I feel that the Center for Distance Learning allows people to continue their careers while they complete their degrees and the academic program is challenging and interesting. My experience with every professor also has been positive.”
About the Bahr Online Scholarship Recipients
Kenya Coleman, of Albany, N.Y., is the current vice president for CWA Local 1141 and is employed as an administrative assistant with United University Professions. A single mother of two, Coleman is pursuing a B.A. in business management and economics and plans a career in business management.
Jennifer Jacob, of Hilton, N.Y., is a member of CWA Local 1170, and works as a library clerk at Gates Public Library in Rochester, N.Y. Studying to earn a B.S. in community and human services, Jacob intends to continue on to Syracuse University to earn a Master of Library Science, with a concentration in children’s services. Jacob also holds an associate degree from Monroe Community College.
John Lawrence Llewellyn, Jr., of Matamoras, P.A., is a member of the International Association of Firefighters, Local F-7, and is employed as a firefighter, hazmat and emergency medical technician for West Point Fire and Emergency Services. Working to complete his B.A. in labor studies with a concentration in labor-management relations, Llewellyn also is active in service to Local F-7 and holds an A.A.S in fire science technology from Pike’s Pike Community College, Colorado Springs.
Jordan Marsh, of Glens Falls, N.Y., is a member of Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 2, and works as a secretary II at the IUE-CWA GE & Aerospace Board. Marsh first pursued a career in law enforcement, but now devotes his professional life to union work. After earning his bachelor’s degree in labor studies, Marsh plans on continuing his education by earning a master’s degree in labor studies from the college. Marsh earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York College at Brockport in 1998.
Mendy Thorsland, of Rock Stream, N.Y., a member of New York State United Teachers, is studying in the college’s RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and is the school nurse at Watkins Glen Elementary School. A wife, mother, coach for Girls on the Run and a Cub Scout leader, Thorsland works to instill confidence in youth in all her professional, community and family roles.
Scholarship awards fully cover tuition, fees and special services. Students in the program are eligible for scholarship funding for one or two courses per term, up to a maximum of eight credits per term.
Once enrolled, students also must apply for other federal, state, corporate or union financial aid for which they may be eligible.
Preference for this scholarship is given to union members, their families and/or domestic partners, but anyone may apply. Funding for the scholarship comes from the Morton Bahr Foundation.
More information about previous scholarship recipients is available here.
The application for next year will be posted to the college’s website in January 2014.
Morton Bahr, president emeritus of the Communications Workers of America, has been one of the world’s most influential union leaders and is nationally respected and recognized for his expertise on technology and information-based industries.
Bahr led the 700,000-member union beginning in 1985 through his retirement in 2005. His tenure at the union’s helm saw a major shift in the nature of the telecommunications industry in the face of rapidly changing technology.
Known for transforming CWA into an education-driven union, he negotiated a number of educational benefits with the management of various companies to enable CWA members to upgrade their skills by earning college degrees in order to compete in the changing workforce.
Bahr earned his B.S. in labor studies from the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies in 1983 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York Board of Trustees in 1995.
In 2011, he was recognized with a Citizen Laureate Award as part of the college’s 40th-anniversary celebrations.
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.
Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
David M. Henahan, Director of Communications 518-587-2100, ext. 2918 David.Henahan@esc.edu
518-321-7038(after 5 p.m. and weekends)