March 3, 2021

MS in Professional Writing Student Helps Establish College Re-Entry Scholarship

MS in Professional Writing (MSPW) student Susan Knox Kopta has put her coursework to good work by helping to establish a college re-entry scholarship that will launch this Fall 2021 semester at Barnard College in New York. Motivated by her personal goal to raise awareness of mental health issues, Susan combined her passion to create avenues of support for those in need with her coursework from the MSPW’s Grants and Proposal Writing elective course.  

In the Grant and Proposal Writing course, taught by Adjunct Assistant Professor Sue Davies, students are connected with industry leaders whose experiences and interests match. Susan’s interests included helping Barnard College students on mental health medical leave receive transitional care to resume academic pursuits.  

“Professor Davies’ class was very instrumental in helping to fulfill that goal,” Susan explains. “The Fountain House College Re-entry program provides transitional academic care to college students on mental health medical leave. They offer a semester-long course that provides individualized academic plans, coaching, community support, and mentoring. In Fall 2021, Barnard will offer qualifying students the option of attending College Re-entry on a full scholarship.”

Fountain House

The idea for this real world scholarship was supported by many. Professor Davies connected Susan with Jeff Aron, former Fountain House Director of External Affairs. Jeff introduced Susan to the Fountain House College Re-entry program. With a grant proposal idea, Susan was able to coordinate with Program Manager Anna Guimaraes, Outreach Manager Julie Wolfson and Barnard’s Senior Class Dean and College Case Manager Rebecca Grabiner. It was decided across Zoom meetings that Barnard not only would offer college re-entry as an option when appropriate, but also full scholarships when needed.  

“It is my hope that other NYU students that take Professor Davies’ class will build upon their industry connections to make real world changes.” Susan also hopes that more colleges and universities connect students on mental health medical leave with college re-entry programs. “These are programs that offer hope and can restore a positive vision of the future-- which are tools needed not only for academic success but for life itself.”

To learn more about the MS in Professional Writing program at NYU School of Professional Studies, visit

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