Category: Discovery & Impact, General News, University News

Title: New Fund Expands International Learning Experiences

Date Published: November 24, 2020

The McCourt School of Public Policy is honored to announce the endowment of the Colin McCollester Mission Fund, an annual award supporting international internships, experiential learning, study abroad, and other international learning experiences for McCourt School students.

The Colin McCollester Mission Fund was established by the family of Colin McCollester (G’14), who graduated from Georgetown in 2014 with dual masters degrees in public policy and business administration. Colin contracted cerebral malaria while working in Nigeria and died in Singapore on December 12, 2019 while traveling abroad.

“After several months and as many conversations, we chose Georgetown as the best way to entrust Colin’s legacy and his short life,” said Ludy McCollester, Colin’s mother. “At Georgetown, Colin’s interests and talents were developed, encouraged and recognized. Colin was his most complete and satisfied self there, as his professors, classmates, colleagues and friends all promoted his academic and personal growth. Along with Colin’s accomplishments, he was an Indiana boy with aspirations to see and experience the world and to use his gifts to make the world a better, more equitable place. He had a deep appreciation for anywhere he found himself and a sense of humor to match. Colin had big plans, often unspoken, to continue his work and do more. We hope to unleash a similar sense of awe and wonder in the recipient of this scholarship.”

Colin McCollester at the Berlin Wall
Colin McCollester at the Berlin Wall while studying abroad as a McCourt student.

Increasing Access to Global Opportunities

The Colin McCollester Mission Fund expands access to global opportunities for McCourt students, a critical professional development experience for future policy professionals.

“Global experiential learning opportunities provide invaluable hands-on and perspective- broadening experiences for emerging policy leaders,” said Maria Cancian, dean of the McCourt School. “We are incredibly grateful to the McCollester family for the opportunity to honor Colin’s memory in this meaningful way.”

Applicants to the fund will be evaluated based on the student’s professional opportunity, their policy passions, and financial need.

Paying It Forward

Colin McCollester was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and obtained his B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

He was an active member of the McCourt and McDonough School of Business communities, serving in leadership positions with the Consulting Club, Net Impact, Energy & Cleantech, and the Middle East Graduate Alliance. Colin participated in the McCourt study abroad program in Berlin, Germany, and wrote his final MPP thesis on “An Analysis of Renewable Portfolio Standard Policy Formulation and Its Influence on State Level Energy Prices.”

“Colin was a thoughtful student with a ready laugh and dedicated to the task at hand,” said his thesis adviser, associate teaching professor Robert Bednarzik. “He managed to produce an outstanding thesis while simultaneously getting a Masters’ degree in Business which required his working in Africa. He was clearly passionate about global environmental energy policy.”

After graduating from Georgetown in 2014, Colin joined Deloitte Consulting where he focused on building energy infrastructure for global communities in need. His work was fundamental to projects around the world, including in Haiti, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria.

“Power Africa is grateful for everything Colin achieved in Nigeria,” said Andrew M. Herscowitz, Power Africa Coordinator. “His work identifying key constraints and removing difficult obstacles in the power sector directly benefited more than 150,000 Nigerians. By enabling them to gain access to electricity for the first time, Colin allowed children to read at night, he helped women access modern medicine, and facilitated budding entrepreneurs in launching new businesses. His impact cannot be understated and will continue to be felt for generations.”

Colin McCollester with siblings in Barcelona

Colin was unmatched in kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity. As the heart of the family, Colin was not only a true friend but also a mentor to his siblings. He was realizing his dreams of exploring the world and experiencing other cultures, and he found personal fulfillment in using his gifts to pay forward the kindness and opportunities shown to him. Colin’s optimistic spirit constantly brightened the days of all who knew him.