Nine university students have been awarded a total of $17,000 in scholarships and fellowships by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) Board of Directors for the year 2012-2013. The board has funded these two award programs annually for nine years.
NSPF’s Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification graduates and their family members are eligible for the program.
“There are few things we do any given day that will have an impact for decades. Giving to students to help them on their way is one such thing,” said Bill Kent, chair of the NSPF Scholarship Review Committee.
This year’s scholarship applicants were asked to write an essay about how to prevent pool water contamination, and methods to clean up after a contamination incident occurs. The Scholarship Committee approved $9,000 in scholarships to seven students who are pursuing higher education around the United States in a variety of subject areas:
Laura Glass (Bethel College) received an NSPF Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000; Joseph Franceschini (University of Las Vegas) was awarded an NSPF Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000; James Chafins (Kentucky Christian University) received the P. Cory Willis Scholarship for $1,000; Brenda Broderick (Barry University) was recipient of the Phillip J. Sperber Scholarship for $1,000; Alyssa Kelly (Ohio State University) was recipient of the D. Joseph Hunsaker Scholarship for $1,000; Jennifer Mielke (Saginaw Valley State University) was awarded the William N. Rowley Scholarship for $1,000; and Taylor Strout (Armstrong Atlantic State University) was awarded the D.J. Wright Scholarship for $1,000.
The 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 aquatic venues. The NSPF Fellowship Program awarded $8,000 to two students:
Jodi Jensen, M.A., Public Administration, who is pursuing her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Management, Hampton University, Hampton, Va., received a fellowship award of $4,000. Jensen is a second-time recipient of the fellowship award. She has over 20 years in the aquatics field and has a lifetime love of the water. She worked in the public sector in parks and recreation before entering full time into academia. In addition to attaining NSPF Instructor status, she has volunteered on the National Red Cross Advisory Committee for revision of the Lifeguard Training program. She also served as member of the Hygiene Technical Committee for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Model Aquatic Health Code. Her interests include examining attitudes and beliefs towards aquatics by African Americans, particularly young adults. Her experimental investigation would address the huge disparity between African Americans versus Caucasians who swim, and the impact on unintentional drowning rates.
Laura Suppes, who is pursuing a Doctorate degree in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, was awarded a $4,000 fellowship. Suppes is a Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification program graduate, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, and a Master of Public Health. Suppes is currently conducting research funded by the National Swimming Pool Foundation under the direction of Dr. Kelly Reynolds that aims to develop standardized criteria for studies that explore health effects associated with exposure to aquatic environments. In addition, for part of her dissertation, she will study the correlations among microbial and cyanuric acid concentrates at various pool depths and acute gastrointestinal illness reports by pool users.
Direct family members of individuals who have earned a Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification may apply for the 2013-2014 year scholarships prior to June 1, 2013. The 2013 scholarship essays will ask candidates to write, from their perspective, what could be done in America to get more people to learn to swim. Essays that support the position by research and inclusion of scientific references will be viewed favorably. Information on how to apply for scholarships and fellowships is available at www.nspf.org. Fellowship applicants should be performing aquatic research and can learn how to apply on the NSPF fellowships page.
Barrett Kilmer, has been on the editorial staff of AQUA magazine since 2000. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and currently lives in Madison, Wisc.