The Department of Earth Science at the University of Northern Iowa helped shape Kevin Prochaska into a successful professional in the environmental field. In return, Kevin has helped shape the department.
In 1986, Kevin and his wife, Nancy, created the Wandering Coprolite Fund —a gift that is still making an impact nearly 30 years later. The fund enables both students and faculty to travel to regional and national conferences to present research, make connections with individuals from other institutions and get more information on future opportunities.
Nancy and Kevin Prochaska
“The fund is essential for our students, since it provides them with support that enables them to have experiences that help them in learning about future careers in the geosciences,” said Dr. Siobahn Morgan, the department head for Earth Science. “Also it is one of the best named funds out there – a unique distinction that makes it memorable to donors and our alumni.”
Kevin, a 1978 graduate of UNI, benefited from experiences similar to the ones he is now providing and strived to create similar opportunities for students to the ones that enhanced his time on campus.
“The money my wife and I gave to start our fund is being used to allow students and faculty to attend camps and conferences, and this has given me great satisfaction,” Kevin said. “I certainly had a great time at those events as a student, and I'm glad others are getting those opportunities.”
Kevin attributes much of his success to these added opportunities and to his professors at UNI.
“My professors wanted all their students to succeed and it showed in the way they taught,” said Kevin. “Years later, I still remember what they did for me. Their dedication to their students is one of the things that prompted me to give back to the university. I wanted to give something back to those who gave me so much.”
Even now in retirement, Kevin relies on lessons he learned from his professors. He says…
“As we progressed through the geology program at UNI, I learned two things. The first is, never give up what you want to do, even if the road is tough. The second thing is, always approach life with laughter in your heart. A good attitude overcomes almost any trial and will carry you forward in life.”
Are you interested in providing support similar to Kevin and Nancy’s? Visit uni-foundation.org to discover how you can make a difference at the University of Northern Iowa.