A University of Miami student died Tuesday evening while studying abroad, prompting fellow student to gather and remember his impact on their lives.
Sophomore Scott Monat, age 20, was studying abroad at the National University of Singapore this semester. He was found in a kitchen at Prince George’s Parks Residences, a location popular among international students and an option for living for UM students who study abroad in Singapore. He was found approximately 6 a.m. local time, according to a report by The Campus Observer, NUS’s student newspaper.
Monat was a National Merit Scholar who attended Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. before he came to UM and received the Isaac Bashevis Singer scholarship, the highest scholarship awarded at the university. He was also a member of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Edward T. and Roberta Foote Fellows, a select group for first-year A&S students. He was also very involved in Hillel, the Jewish student center on campus.
Over 50 students, friends, and Hillel staff members attended the gathering to remember Monat and support each other through the loss. Rabbi Baruch Plotkin, UM’s campus rabbi, gave an encouraging address to those in attendance. A slideshow of pictures of Monat played continuously throughout the evening as friends shared stories and reminisced.
“He was such an amazing kid, always smiling,” said UM alumnus Edgardo de la Vera.
Sophomore Amy Levine, who was the creator of the event’s Facebook event, commented on Monat’s pursuit of a degree in neurobiology, saying, “He wanted to save lives.”
Monat was remembered fondly by his peers as well as by the staff of UM Hillel, where he was very active as a student leader.
“He was an incredible leader and an incredible friend,” shared Robyn Fisher, the rabbinic director at Hillel.
Melina Gimal, executive director of Hillel, remembers Monat as “smart, warm, and likable.”
Monat was also described as “focused, determined, and full of life,” by Henchi Fellig, the co-director of Chabad UM.
Monat is survived by both his parents Richard and Ilene and an older brother, Zach. An event will be held at Hecht Residential College Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Grief counselors will be on hand.
Matthew Bunch contributed to this story.