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What is The EPIC Advantage?

Earlham is one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the United States to offer funded internships and research experiences to all students. These opportunities often take place during junior and senior years, and funding may include travel expenses. The program is a key component of the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (EPIC) and is a permanent feature of the Earlham Experience.

About the Donors

The EPIC Advantage is powered by a $7.5 million leadership from Alan ’74 and Peg Kral Scantland ’74, of Columbus, Ohio. The Scantlands have chosen to honor these life-changing experiences through their philanthropy. Their gift is to be used for personalized vocational mentoring, career-discerning internships and highly-focused student research projects.

After graduating from Earlham, Peg wrote and edited elementary and high school textbooks, worked as an adult literacy tutor and stayed home to raise their children, Pete, Matt and Susan Scantland Littleton ’05.

Alan earned his master’s degree in agricultural economics, a key integration point of science and the business world, from The Ohio State University in 1976 and was hired by Battelle as an agricultural economist. He later held positions in the prescription services industry with Express-Med and Member Health. In 2009, Alan joined cofounders Matt Scantland (son) and Sam Rajan to launch CoverMyMeds (CMM) – an innovative healthcare IT company.

CoverMyMeds, based in Columbus, Ohio, is the leader in electronic prior authorization for prescription drugs, providing physicians and pharmacists with tools to help millions of patients per month maneuver through healthcare paperwork to get prescribed medications easily and quickly.

Through CoverMyMeds, the Scantlands’ wish was “to create a fast-growing profitable company that served a social good and produced best in-class product in a non-bureaucratic environment where both customers and employees were trusted and treated as we do our families.”

The Scantlands’ gift is the largest alumni gift in the College’s history, and the largest single gift Earlham has received since Eli Lilly’s “Magnificent Gift” of $25 million in 1973.

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How Does It Work?

Earlham provides all interested students access to The EPIC Advantage. While this opportunity can easily be tailored to the interests and needs of individual students, the program is focused on creating and funding highly focused internships and research opportunities. The College is committed to providing students with choice of opportunities on campus, across the United States, and in other countries. Earlham will also provide expert advising to help students secure appropriate placements related to the students’ academic interests and career aspirations.

  1. Why is this called The EPIC Advantage?

    This initiative exemplifies the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (or EPIC). Combined with the other features of an Earlham education, The EPIC Advantage is a guaranteed opportunity that is virtually unparalleled in American higher education. Also, funded internships and research experiences offer a distinct advantage to our students — both as they create coherent and cohesive Earlham experiences for themselves, and as they begin their careers.

  2. What sorts of experiences are supported by The EPIC Advantage?

    The EPIC Advantage can provide one internship or student-faculty research experience for each student, generally during junior or senior year. The program is designed to allow students to benefit from a highly focused and career-oriented experience during their final two years of college. The EPIC Advantage will help students make the connection between their academic and personal passions, and possible career paths.

  3.  How will students find internships and student-faculty research opportunities?

    The Center for Career and Community Engagement is already helping many students find these opportunities (in fact, 75 of these experiences are planned for this summer). These efforts will expand. Earlham’s team-based approach to advising (including transition mentors, academic advisers, career coaches and pre-professional advisers) will provide students guidance and mentoring to make the most of The EPIC Advantage.

  4.  How will faculty be involved in The EPIC Advantage?

    Student-faculty research is a longstanding strength of Earlham, and The EPIC Advantage will provide significant new funding to support this endeavor. The key to the success of this initiative is that faculty members and students work on research projects together. Faculty will also play a key role in advising and mentoring students before and after they complete internships. Collaboration rooted in the shared interests and passions of Earlham faculty and students constitutes the heart of The EPIC Advantage. 

  5.  Will there be an application process for students to access The EPIC Advantage?

    Yes. Earlham will follow current policies and procedures related to the Internship Assistance Fund and student-faculty collaborative research. Thanks to this generous leadership gift, Earlham will significantly expand the number of opportunities it can support.

  6. Can The EPIC Advantage be used for May Terms and other off-campus study programs?

    No. The EPIC Advantage is focused on providing individual opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty members on research or to gain career-oriented experience through internships. Earlham will continue to support student participation in off-campus study with other sources of funding.

  7.  Why is this initiative geared to juniors and seniors?

    Students will likely derive the greatest benefit from internships or research experiences when they pursue them after being well-grounded in their majors and when they have taken some time to discern possible career paths. Earlham will continue to offer plenty of internship and research opportunities, however, and motivated students can often complete several such experiences during their four years at Earlham. The College encourages students to begin thinking about, and preparing for, The EPIC Advantage as soon as they arrive on campus.

  8.  How significant is this gift?

    This is the largest alumni gift in the history of the College, and the largest single gift to Earlham since Eli Lilly’s $25 million “Magnificent Gift” in 1973. We’re referring to it as a “leadership gift” because the Scantlands hope that their generosity will inspire other alumni and friends to lend their support to Earlham, and especially initiatives related to EPIC.