Penn State faculty member funds Mont Alto's first Educational Equity Scholarship

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Andrew Mowen, professor of recreation, park and tourism management, and professor-in-charge of the honors program in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, and his wife, Cindy, have pledged $25,000 to fund Penn State Mont Alto’s first Educational Equity Scholarship.

The scholarship will receive matching funds as part of Penn State’s recently concluded Educational Equity Matching Program. Once matched 1:1, the Mowens’ scholarship endowment will be valued at $50,000, and it will generate annual awards in perpetuity for students who contribute to the diversity of the Penn State Mont Alto student body.

Man and women standing outside

Cindy and Professor Andrew Mowen

Credit: Penn State

Mowen’s experience as a student at the Mont Alto campus in the 1980s inspired him to give back to the campus.

“I struggled to find a major and was anxious about my future,” Mowen said. “Two faculty members, Dr. Frank Kristine and Dr. Jim Hamilton, spent considerable time with me to discuss my options; they provided a welcoming, learning environment and were great listeners. They inspired me to pursue my passion for parks and recreation and modeled for me what it means to be a successful faculty mentor and adviser.”

To honor the professors that helped shape Mowen’s future, the couple titled the scholarship the Dr. Frank J. Kristine & Dr. James P. Hamilton III Educational Equity Scholarship.

“There are so many great faculty, staff and learning opportunities at Penn State Mont Alto,” Mowen said. “Cindy and I thought that establishing an Education Equity Scholarship in honor of professors Kristine and Hamilton is not only a fitting tribute but reflects their mutual belief that everyone deserves access to a great college education.”

“The Mowens’ generosity shows how much Mont Alto alumni value this campus and the high-quality Penn State education they received here,” said Francis K. Achampong, chancellor at the Mont Alto campus. “This scholarship endowment will help Penn State Mont Alto recruit and retain deserving students from underrepresented groups who might not otherwise be able to afford a Penn State education. This will, no doubt, enrich the diversity and life experiences of our student body.”

Andrew Mowen started his Penn State undergraduate education at the Mont Alto campus and graduated with honors from the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) at University Park in 1992. He went on to earn his doctoral degree from Penn State in 1999. Since 2002, he has been a professor of recreation, park and tourism management in HHD. Cindy Mowen earned her bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College and is an occupational therapist at Strawberry Fields Inc. The couple resides in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania.

This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit