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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI alumna establishes economics scholarship

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 6, 2000 -- Nancy McKinstry values the time she spent at the University of Rhode Island, especially her economics classes. Although she graduated from URI in 1980, she's never forgotten the lessons she learned.

"I received a wonderful education," says the chief executive officer of SCP Communications, a firm specializing in medical publishing, research, and education programs for the pharmaceutical industry. "My career began at URI."

As a way of saying thanks, McKinstry has established a $30,000 endowed scholarship for students majoring in economics. Each year, students who demonstrate financial need and merit will be selected as recipients.

"Economics has served me well," says the New York City executive. "I can understand consumer buying behavior and underlying economic principles. I deal a lot with acquisitions and my study of economics has helped me understand the relationship between financial results and valuations."

Does she have any advice for current economics majors? "In the business world, employers hire and promote people who have clarity of thought. Employers look for employees who can look at a problem from many different angles and work toward a solution that creates a win-win scenario. They also look for people who can communicate logically, who speak and write well. Economics trains you for that and these skills can be applied to any type of employment."

While a student at URI, McKinstry was a research assistant for economics professor Dr. Joel Dirlam now retired. "The faculty members were always so helpful."

"Nancy was always a bundle of energy and still is," says economics professor Art Mead. "Her generous gift will help our department attract and retain economics majors."

McKinstry maintains an apartment in NYC and a home in Wilton, Conn. She is married to Dr. James Roch. The couple has two children. She returns to campus occasionally, serving on the URI College of Arts and Sciences Dean's External Advisory Council.

"We deeply appreciate Nancy McKinstry's leadership gift to the College of Arts and Sciences," says Dean Winifred Brownell. "Thanks to her generosity, we can provide critically needed scholarships to outstanding students in economics. Nancy is an exemplary liberal arts graduate who continues to give back to URI with her time and talents in so many ways."

For Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116


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