UM student dies in Singapore while studying abroad

A photo of Scott Monat on his Facebook rememberance page, "RIP Scott Monat"
A photo of Scott Monat on his Facebook rememberance page, "RIP Scott Monat"

UPDATED 3/4/09 6:55 P.M.

A University of Miami student studying abroad at the National University of Singapore has died.

Scott Jared Monat, a second-year neurobiology major, was found in a student housing kitchen at approximately 6 a.m. local time Wednesday morning, according to The Campus Observer, the student newspaper of NUS. It’s unclear at this time whether he was dead in the kitchen or died in medical care. A report from the Straits Times, the largest English-language newspaper in the country, is reporting that he was in Prince George’s Parks Residences, a location popular among international students and an option for living for UM students who study abroad in Singapore, according to the school’s Web site.

“He and some others had been making noise in the kitchen, then around that time he fainted,” said third-year engineering student Christopher Aldo to The Observer.

The cause of death has yet to be released by police in Singapore. The Straits Times is reporting that local police are handling the case as an unnatural death and are investigating.

Monat was a National Merit Scholar who attended Pope High School in Mariette, 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. He was also very involved in Hillel, the Jewish student center on campus.

“He was a great guy, good friend,” said Robyn Fischer, a rabbinical director at Hillel. “[Hillel] was a home away from home for him.”

According to a Facebook event site, there will be a gathering for Monat tonight at Hillel beginning at 8 p.m.

“The university offers its deepest sympathies and support to Scott’s family and friends during this difficult time,” a statement from UM’s media department said.”The university is working closely with his host university, the National University of Singapore, and the authorities in Singapore.”

According to university spokeswoman Margot Winick, there will be an event tomorrow night in the Hecht Residential College master’s apartment from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Counseling staff will be available.