Kennesaw State University graduate awarded Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship

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KENNESAW, Ga. (JULY 10, 2014) — Recent Kennesaw State University School of Music graduate Zac Evans has been awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award is given to only 20 recipients each year. Evans is the first Kennesaw State student to receive this award.

Evans graduated magna cum laude from the School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in performance with a concentration in saxophone in spring 2013. He plans to pursue his master’s degree in jazz composition at the University of Texas in the fall.

The leading graduate scholarship in the nation for the visual arts, performing arts and creative writing, the Graduate Arts Award provides up to $50,000 per year for up to three years for exceptional students with financial need to study at an accredited graduate institution in the U.S. or abroad.

“We believe that society is enriched through art and our most exceptional artists should be able to develop and share their talents, regardless of their financial means,” said Emily Froimson, vice president of programs at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “By removing a financial obstacle, our award will allow these students to focus on studying and honing their crafts.”

In its fourth year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award elicited 320 applications and portfolios from students in 41 states and the District of Columbia. The 20 finalists represent just 7 percent of the total applicant pool. They were selected by a 38-member panel of experienced artists and arts educators in the fields of music, dance, theater, creative writing, visual arts and film.

Patricia Poulter, dean of Kennesaw State’s College of the Arts, said, “Zac’s story is incredible; it’s filled with challenges and obstacles that would have stopped a lesser-motivated person from moving forward.”

Evans’ creative side may be best displayed in his band Monkier, composed of several Kennesaw State alumni. Monkier is largely representative of Evans’ talent and innovation as a musician. He combines hip-hop and jazz in a way he said had not been done before.

According to Evans, “Monkier’s use of odd-meter rapping, interesting instrumental parts and solo sections sets the band apart as original and innovative.”

Evans said he credits his musical success to his KSU professors, including Sam Skelton, Trey Wright and Mike Alexander.

“Zac embodies what is best about the School of Music,” said Alexander, interim director of the KSU School of Music. “His creativity, work ethic and ability to see all of the possibilities of any opportunity that presents itself will certainly put him in a position to succeed in his career.”

 

ABOUT JACK KENT COOKE FOUNDATION

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Because we believe that high-potential, low-income students will excel educationally when given the resources to develop their talents, the Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination. Founded in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, the Foundation has awarded $120 million for over 2,000 scholarships and $76 million in grants to organizations that support our mission. www.jkcf.org

 

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.

-- Robert S. Godlewski