Mary Mantelli of Seneca Falls, a junior majoring in childhood education at SUNY Oswego, is one of four recipients of this year’s Eugene P. Link College Scholarships from United University Professions.
The scholarship is $1,000 per semester for 2005-06. United University Professions is the union that represents SUNY faculty and professional staff. The union will honor the recipients Sept. 23 at its Fall Delegate Assembly in Albany.
Mantelli has a 3.97 grade average. A non-traditional student, she transferred to Oswego with credits from several colleges, including Brigham Young University, Indiana University, Erie County Community College, SUNY Buffalo and Medaille College.
“I just kept chipping away at my education little by little until it was practical for me to come back to school full time,” she said.
She said she was inspired to become a social studies teacher because of “my commitment to social justice, teaching tolerance and civic responsibility.” She taught social studies at St. Mary’s School in Waterloo before it closed last June.
“When I knew that the school would be closing soon, I returned to my own education full time in order to earn my state certification,” she said.
An activist from an early age, she said she remembers marching along with her teachers at Public School #22 in Buffalo in the mid-1960s during a strike. As a teacher, she marched on behalf of her students at an anti-war rally in spring 2003 in New York City.
She worked with fellow SUNY Oswego students and the New York Public Interest Research Group last fall to help register new voters. She is currently a member of the Town of Tyre Zoning Board.
Link was a professor of history and union activist at SUNY Plattsburgh who was committed to social issues and labor ideals. Winners of the scholarship endowed in his name must be SUNY undergraduates with grade averages of at least 3.75 and a commitment to the principles his career exemplified.
Many Oswego students have received the honor since the scholarship fund was established in 1988. The other recipients this year included two students from SUNY Albany and one from SUNY Geneseo.
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(Posted: Sep 21, 2005)