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Program honors Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification graduates
The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) announced that the board of directors has awarded $10,000 in scholarships and fellowships to eight students for the year 2010 to 2011. The two award programs were first created and offered in 2004; despite the economic downturn of the past few years, the foundation has continued to fund them annually.
The Scholarship Program honors Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification graduates and their family members by helping them to pursue higher education. Scholarship applicants submit professional information and recommendations, and are required to write a research essay with at least three scientific references. The essays this year asked candidates to address the benefits and risks of hot water and cold water immersion.
The Scholarship Committee approved $8,000 in scholarships to seven students who are pursuing higher education around the U.S., in a variety of subject areas. In the current economic climate, some institutions are reducing student financial assistance and limiting enrollment, putting greater strain on the ability of many to pursue their educational goals.
“It’s not just about following our mission to further education that tells us we are doing the right thing--these young people are our future. It feels great to help them in a small way,” said Bill Kent, Scholarship Review Committee chair.
Laura Stevens, East Texas Baptist University, received the Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000. The following students were awarded $1,000 scholarships: Landon Brockmeyer – Texas A&M University, Craig Gosnell – Appalachian State University, Kelsey McBeain – New Mexico State University, Jane Pinckney – Cornell University, Mackenzie Pochardt – Winona State University and Steven Thompson – Ball State University.
The NSPF Fellowship Program was established to encourage and support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are performing risk reduction or health benefit research related to aquatic activities and/or venues such as swimming pools, spas/hot tubs, therapy pools, and waterparks. For the second consecutive year, the fellowship award of $2,000 was given to John Christopher Sieverdes, M.S., School of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina.
Sieverdes is a public health student pursuing his Ph.D. and, under his advisor, Dr. Steven Blair (an NSPF grant recipient) he has been working under the two-year NSPF grant researching the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Database for links between swimming and chronic diseases.
Information on how to apply for scholarships and fellowships is available at www.nspf.org. The NSPF Scholarship Review Committee reviews all submitted applications and awards scholarships and fellowships in the summer of each year.