Gentrain Society.

Special Events and Programs

We offer our members learning opportunities and support the MPC community through a variety of unique activities, a scholarship program, and an eclectic book club. Keep reading for more information on each of these. You are sure to find something interesting.

Recent and Upcoming Events

The Gentrain Society sponsors several Special Events throughout the year to provide opportunities for cultural enrichment while meeting new friends and sharing the fun of group activities. They include day trips to performances, exhibitions, lectures, and demonstrations in Monterey and the surrounding area, as well as social gatherings. They are arranged on an ad hoc basis, according to opportunity and the interests of our members. There is no set schedule, but 4 to 6 events are normally held each year. Participation is usually restricted to members of the Society and are either free or charged at cost.

December 2023
March 2024
July 2024
No event found!


The Gentrain Society Scholarship Program is administered by the Gentrain Scholarship Committee in partnership with the MPC Financial Aid Office. It is designed to serve students over age 30, many of whom come back to college to enhance their workplace skills. The number and amount of scholarships varies from year to year, depending on need and available funding. A special scholarship is available for someone who as completed at least three units of the Gentrain class with a grade of “B” or higher.

Since 1991, we have awarded more than $450,000 has been awarded to over 400 deserving students. How about making a gift to the Scholarship Fund yourself?

To get started send an email to The Scholarship Committee.

Book Club

This group is designed for bibliophiles, the sort whose best friends are books and those who love talking about them.

Everyone is welcome. Gentrain Society membership is optional. The only requirement is that you do the reading before each meeting and engage in the conversation. Life is short. So many books, so little time. Why not read the best? To join the Book Club contact Gerry Kapolka.

Send message to Gerry

Planned Readings

Gerry Kapolka received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College with its Great Books program. After studying for a year at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, he went on to receive his Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from The University of Chicago. He has taught English, World literature, and general humanities at Rhode Island College, St. Mary’s College in Michigan, MPC, Wagner College, and Rutgers University. For the past 23 years he has taught English at Santa Catalina School, serving eventually as Chair of the English department and Dean of Academics. He retired in June, 2018 and spent the winter semester as a senior lecturer at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He has published three book length translations of Polish literature and numerous articles, book reviews, and translations in a variety of academic journals and anthologies.

Dates Author Title

17 April

24 April

1 May

8 May

15 May

22 May

29 May

5 June

12 June

19 June











Theological-Political Treatise: Chapters 8-11

Theological-Political Treatise: Chapters 12-16

Theological-Political Treatise: Chapters 17-18

Theological-Political Treatise: Chapters 19-end

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 3-54

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 54-105

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 105-155

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 155-203

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 203-250

Mrs. Dalloway: pp ~ 250-end

2023 Scholarship Winners

Carlos Benitez-Bonne, Engineering, in memory of Chuck KimzeyLuz Maria Estrada, Spanish Translator and Paralegal, in memory of Jack and Isaline Sedan
Maria Duenas, Kinesiology, in memory of Anne Flynn
Ashlin Habes, Nursing, in memory of Lynn Swerrie
Vanessa Bell, Medical Assistant
Maria del Rosario Alvarez-Lopez, Pre-nursing
Kecia Denk, Kinesiology, in memory of Conrad and Norma Esselstyn
Celine Franklin-Sogge, Nursing
Emily Howard, Nursing
Kaly Mariano, Psychology
Shelby Napier, Nursing, in memory of Geri Allison
Esmeralda Schwerin, Psychology
Amber Stroud, Nursing
Claudia Gonzales-Godinez Warrington, Nursing

Alex Reyes-Velencia, Special Gentrain Program Award

Karla Garcia, Nursing, in memory of Mary Ann Kane

Total awarded this year, $35,500

Total awarded since 1991, $452,250

2022 ... Scholarship Winners($1,000 each):

Anthony Walker, in memory of Paul Smith
Jonathon Soule, in memory of Lynn Swerrie
Heather Radcliffe, in memory of Chuck Kimzey
Kevin Weech, in memory of Anne Flynn
Miranda Talbott, in memory of Jack and Isalene Sedan
Susan Rafeiro, in memory of Jack and Isalene Sedan
Matthew Perkins
Shams Shniian
Maritza Rivas
Maximillian Jung
Trang Duong
Brian Munoz
Zuleyda Argueta
Casey Armbruster


Total awarded this year, $14,000
Total awarded since 1991, $402,750

2021 Scholarship Winners ($1,000.00 each):

Ho Gia Bao Le, in memory of Elizabeth Friedenthal
Courtney Blunt, in memory of Lynn Swerrie
Laura Mejia, in memory of Jack and Isaline Sedan
Karla Garcia
Roger Borrayo, in memory of Jack and Isaline Sedan
Gundega Nigale
Breanna Edwards, in memory of Dr. Phil Nash
Andrea Cruz Montes
Britneigh Ray, in memory of Anne Flynn
James Collard
Anthony Walker, in memory of Paul Smith
Claudia Gray

Total $12,000

Najm Akbar

I am Muhammad Najm Akbar. Call me Najm.
Born in Multan, Pakistan, I had my initial education there.
In the United States, I have graduated twice from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MA 1995 and MALD, 2011, and have a graduate degree in History from Fresno State, 2022. Middlebury awarded me an MA in Teaching of Foreign Language, in 2009.

Alia and I have lived In Monterey since 2005. Our children are married and engaged in their professional lives in New York.

Our biggest delight is our two granddaughters, the eldest turns four soon, and the youngest is about a year and a half old.

I remained part of the Pakistan Foreign Service for two decades and at the Defense Language Institute taught Urdu for thirteen years until 2018.

I joined the MPC pool of adjunct history instructors in 2022 and have taught courses in Gentrain, World History, US History, and History of World Religions. 

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