Coens Scholarship has funds available - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Coens Scholarship has funds available

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Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

Financial challenges remain one of the biggest deterrents to individuals considering enrolling themselves in college, but potential students have more options than they know.

While there are over 180 different scholarships offered at LCC, a lot of money is being left on the table. One scholarship not receiving enough applicants is known as the Thomas A. Coens Quality Fund Scholarship.

Scholarship Contact and former LCC Administrator Adrian Bass said this scholarship has been around for a while, and was created in the memory of former LCC Head of Human Resources Thomas Coens.

“The fund was established with the foundation on Sept. 5, 2003,” Bass said. “I have been involved with this since its inception.”

She said there is a special committee, separate from the LCC Foundation, consisting of people who knew Coens, which reviews each application.

Cat Rathbun, who was married to Coens until his death in 2002, talked fondly about her deceased husband.. She said he was definitely a person to remember.

"Tom was a remarkable man known for his kindness, generosity, commitment to teaching and learning, and promoting positive improvements in employer/employee relationships," Rathbun said. "He was an accomplished Labor & Employment Law attorney, adjunct professor at many universities and colleges, including LCC.

"He supported the arts, enjoyed travel, avid reader, and was a devoted husband, friend and colleague. Tom was the proud and loving father of four children."

In addition to human resources work, Coens also did light contract work and was a part-time teacher at LCC. He also co-authored the book “Abolishing Performance Appraisals” with Mary Jenkins, which offers a new perspective on the expectations of the average employee.

“The philosophy that Tom Coens was going by was based on Dr. W. Edwards Deming,” Bass said.

William Edwards Deming, born in 1900, was a professor, author, economist, engineer, theorist, composer and consultant who believed in something called the “four lenses of profound knowledge.”

“My guess is that they are all important to you; you just don’t know it,” Bass said.

The four components are: appreciation for a system, psychology, theory of knowledge and understanding variation. These lenses are meant to allow for better comprehension and optimization of an organization.

The terms “quality management and progressive management philosophies” are also referenced in the scholarship’s description. Prof. David Schwinn, who is also on the review committee, was able to translate.

"Quality management or progressive management philosophies and practices are specific approaches to organizational management that uniquely and simultaneously innovate, reduce waste and improve quality to make an organization a leader, keep it from failing completely, or both," Schwinn said.

Anyone who is willing to take certain classes, outlined in this link, that are related to this subject matter, would be eligible to apply.

“Sometimes, we don’t have students applying for it,” Bass said. “So, we have some money that we are trying to give away, but students aren’t aware of it.”

Coordinator of Scholarships and Operations Scott Skowronek said approximately $3,000 of funding would be available this year and the number of awards given depends on how many students apply.

Skowronek reminded students that he and his team at the LCC Foundation are there to help determine a student’s eligibility for ANY scholarship. He can be contacted skowr1@lcc.edu.

“Take a proactive look at the foundation’s website and look at all the funds, with broad or very specific requirements,” Bass advised. “You might find financial assistance that you didn’t realize existed.”

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