Anonymous donation funds endowed scholarship for UALR social work students
Mark Krain spent more than four decades as a dedicated college professor teaching students how to prepare for a successful life and career.
Now the professor emeritus of social work is being recognized for his lifetime of service with an endowed scholarship named in his honor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“I feel like a miracle has dropped upon my head,” Krain said. “I can’t deny that it is a very great honor to have a scholarship named after you.”
The funds for the scholarship came from a $30,000 anonymous donation to the UALR School of Social Work.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student, with a strong academic standing, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree at UALR. Financial need will be strongly considered.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor Dr. Krain’s many contributions to the School of Social Work through the establishment of the Dr. Mark Allen Krain Endowed Scholarship,” said Dr. Ann Bain, dean of the UALR College of Education and Health Professions. “Dr. Krain has touched the lives of many students, and it is fitting that he will continue to positively impact students for generations to come through this scholarship.”
Finding a new path
After becoming dissatisfied, Krain left his position as a claims representative for the Social Security Administration office in Queens, New York, to attend graduate school in the Midwest.
“My days working in the Social Security office, where I worked hard but it was a daily grind, was a lesson to me. How can you live a life going to work every day where you don’t like what you are doing?” Krain said.
He earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and a doctorate of sociology from the University of Minnesota. Krain also completed a National Institute on Aging post-doctoral fellowship in adult development aging at the Midwest Council for Social Research on Aging.
In 1971, Krain began his teaching career as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa. After leaving Iowa in 1977, Krain joined UALR’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Gerontology to be a faculty member in the newly created master’s program in gerontology.
The department merged with the School of Social Work in 1994, where Krain continued to work until he retired in 2015, having spent 38 years as a professor at the university.
“I thought teaching was God’s gift to the world, making something very complicated understandable to students who would be using that knowledge when they got out to work,” he said. “I never could be a physician, because I couldn’t deal with sick people and blood, but I can teach people things.”
Krain and his wife, Doris, live in Little Rock and have two sons, Ben Krain, a photographer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Lewis Krain, a psychiatrist at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in North Little Rock.
Now that he is retired, Krain spends his days working out at the Little Rock Athletic Club, hanging out with his five grandchildren, and volunteering at the Jewish Federation of Arkansas as a consultant on issues concerning the elderly.
As for the first person who will receive a scholarship in his name, Krain hopes he or she is a very bright student who wants to help people, a creative thinker, and a problem solver.
“I think that it is very important in social work that the person be a high achiever,” he said. “Social workers solve all kinds of problems. I like social workers who get involved. I hope they find someone who will dive into problems and find ways to solve them.”