facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

Two Simpson Students Named Principal Community Scholars


How many years does it require to call a trend a tradition? Let’s put it this way: Simpson has a good thing going with the Principal Community Scholars Program.

Junior Hannah Matt from Viola, Ill., and senior Carley Wright of Oskaloosa are the most recent Simpson students to receive the award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship from the Principal Financial Group upon completion of their projects.

Eight Simpson students have been named Principal Scholars in the past three years.

“Simpson College Community Engagement is excited to be part of the Principal Community Scholars Program that brings together higher education, the business community and community partners,” said Anna Peña, director of First-Year Experience and Community Engagement at Simpson.

Matt and Wright are among 11 students in Iowa and Minnesota to be selected as part of the 2019 class. The program is organized by Campus Compact, a national coalition of over 1,000 colleges and universities.

“This year’s class of scholars are committed to their communities and to using business skills to improve the lives of others,” said Emily Shields, executive director of the Iowa and Minnesota Campus Compact. “We are thrilled to get to know them and help them further prepare for careers and lives of purpose.”

Matt’s project will focus on increasing the knowledge about, and participation in, the organic garden on campus.

“I really want the Simpson community to know about it,” she said. “I worked on it this summer and I am passionate about gardening. I really wanted to make other people aware that it is a resource that they can use on campus. It’s just a greener way of living, and it’s organic.”

A major in interactive media, Matt said she was the only student working on the garden. She hopes to schedule an event during the spring semester to educate students about planning, maintaining and distributing the fresh vegetables.

“My Mom has always kept a really big garden and she likes canning,” she said. “I’ve always had access to fresh vegetables, and when I came to Simpson, I realized I didn’t. That’s when I started working on the garden.”

Wright’s Principal project also relates to food and food insecurity, the Simpson College service focus area. She wants to expand the Next Course program at Simpson, in which unused food from the dining hall is distributed to local churches.

What’s needed, she said, is a business that will work with Simpson to contribute food as well.

“This involves more of a partnership than an event,” she said.

Wright is majoring in accounting and global management with a minor in German. 

She said she is honored to be part of a scholarship program that so many other Simpson students have participated in. She learned she had been selected during a staff meeting for faculty and student volunteers.

“That was pretty cool,” she said.