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Nov 11, 2021

Announcing the Naomi K. Cohen Public Service Scholarship

The Charter Oak State College Foundation and the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education have partnered to honor retiring Regent and Charter Oak Alum, Naomi K. Cohen, a resident of Bloomfield

The Charter Oak State College Foundation and the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education have partnered to honor retiring Regent and Charter Oak Alum, Naomi K. Cohen, a resident of Bloomfield.  To honor her service and many contributions to higher education, the members of the Board of Regents for Higher Education announced the establishment of the Naomi K. Cohen Public Service Scholarship 

“Naomi Cohen has devoted her life to higher education and service to others,” said Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng. “Naomi’s dedication, intellect, and steady leadership are already sorely missed on the Board of Regents. It is only fitting that we honor her with a scholarship that will help nurture the next generation of public servants in Connecticut.” 

Donations and messages of well wishes are being accepted to help promote her passion - greater access to higher education and degree completion until December 30, 2021.  Donations can be made online at - https://bit.ly/RegentCohenScholarship 

Retiring Regent Cohen said“Balancing the rigors of everyday life with college studies and expenses is hard, making the journey to graduation daunting for many. That’s why I’m thrilled and honored that Regents’ colleagues have created a Charter Oak State College scholarship in my name that will give a financial boost to a student engaging in studies around public service and organizational leadership.”  

Cohen continued, “Public service is in my DNA. Graduating in 1995 from Charter Oak with a degree in Public Administration helped me to be successful in my work life in CT’s Executive and Judicial Branches. My Charter Oak studies also sharpened my appreciation for what opportunities I have been given and the responsibility to never forget what to give in return. Public service is the vehicle to do just that. Luckily, Charter Oak was and still is the place to widen one’s world of knowledge about why giving back matters.”  

Charter Oak State College President Ed Klonoski said, “We are always impressed by the work of our Alumni and in this case the lifetime public service work of our Alum and Regent Naomi K. Cohen.  There is no greater ongoing gift than the gift of education.  Thank you Regent Cohen, Board of Regents colleagues and the Charter Oak State College Foundation for the Naomi K. Cohen Public Service Scholarship that will provide support in perpetuity to many future Charter Oak State College students.” 

Charter Oak State College Foundation Board President Rebeka Scalia, also a Charter Oak graduate, expressed her delight, “We are very thankful for the opportunity to honor a fellow alum and a stalwart of the higher education community, Naomi Cohen, in this very altruistic manner – she is a beaming example of a dedicated community member. As we raise funds to honor an exemplary career, it is also a great service to our students. As higher education degree completion helps propel students into higher-earning opportunities, it educates our workforce, and also inspires students to reach beyond the ordinary career.  We look forward to awarding a student in the Public Service arena the Naomi Cohen Scholarship for years to come.” 

Cohen served as a tireless advocate for Connecticut students and families by promoting greater access to higher education and degree completion strategies for students, and she championed stronger sexual assault policies on all college campuses. Regent Cohen completed her term of service to the Board of Regents for Higher Education on June 30, 2021. 

1995 Charter Oak State College graduate, the Naomi K. Cohen Public Service Scholarship will be awarded to a Charter Oak State College student who has demonstrated financial need, is dedicated to public service, and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership or in General Studies with a concentration in Political Science or Public Administration or a master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership. 

Initially, the Charter Oak State College Foundation will award one $1,000 scholarship in honor of Cohen in the Fall of 2022. Additional donations will help create a legacy of scholarship awards in her honor.  

Cohen served with distinction as a member of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education since December 2011 and has been a member of the Board Academic & Student Affairs Committee, Executive Committee, and Human Resources & Administration Committee of which she was the Chair. Regent Cohen has dedicated her life to serving students in numerous educational leadership positions, including four years as House Chair of the CT General Assembly’s Education Committee while she was a State Representative from 1983 – 1993, as Vice-Chair of the Education Commission of the States, as the public member representing CT on the Board of Trustees of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and as Vice Chair of the Bloomfield Board of Education. 

The Charter Oak State College Foundation (www.CharterOak.edu/Foundation), established in 1977, is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting flexible and comprehensive degree completion opportunities for adults and technology innovations through the work of Charter Oak State College. The Foundation is a vehicle for accepting private gifts, donations, and bequests. Governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, the leadership provides direction for development activities and stewardship of the Foundation's assets. The Board is committed to assisting students meet their educational and career aspirations - Creating Brighter Futures, One Degree at a Time. 

Founded in 1973, Charter Oak State College (www.CharterOak.edu) is Connecticut’s public online college, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields including Health Information Management, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education and Business Administration. The College offers master’s degrees in Health Informatics, Health Care Administration and Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership.  Charter Oak is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and governed by Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education.