Three graduate students are attending Emory University this fall as part of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Program. Teresa Velzy Bowers and Sara E. Drum, of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Shirley Kate Hamilton, of the Allied Health programs at Emory University School of Medicine, are among 77 nationwide scholarship recipients. The graduate scholarships cover tuition, room, board, fees and books--up to $50,000 annually--for up to six years.
The Jack Kent Cooke scholarships are among the most generous academic awards offered in the United States. The Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. The Foundation's programs include scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need.
"Our objective is to help high achieving students who have financial need, whether they are attending a middle school in rural Kansas or Harvard Medical School," said Matthew J. Quinn, executive director of the Foundation. "The graduate scholarship recipients know hard work and sacrifice. These scholarships recognize their devotion to education, reward their efforts, and provide an incentive to continue excelling and, we hope, to benefit society."
Bowers is a native of Milford, Mich. and a nursing student at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She graduated from North Georgia College & State University and plans to pursue dual master's degrees in geriatric nursing and public health. She discovered her passion for caring for the elderly while working in a nursing home in high school.
"I felt enriched to share in generations of knowledge and experience," she says. "Having had many jobs, I soon realized that working with the elderly brought me so much fulfillment. I now feel that by focusing on ways to keep the elderly at home as long as possible with supportive care and transforming the way care is delivered within long-term care facilities, I can assist elders to age with grace and dignity."
Drum, of Atlanta, also plans to pursue dual degrees in nursing and public health. She received a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer scholarship to study nursing at Emory in 2003, and now wants to dedicate her life to providing health services to others.
"The scholarship gave me the financial freedom to remain actively engaged in my community, which became an integral part of my continued personal and professional growth," says Drum, who plans to work in Haiti creating health care systems. "My experiences in Haiti have shown me that the periodic delivery of supplies and medical help is only a temporary fix. Permanent solutions need to be in place where care and education are consistent."
The third scholarship recipient, Shirley Kate Hamilton of Little Rock, AR, is a graduate of Hendrix College. She plans to study developmental physical therapy as part of Emory's Allied Health Graduate Program.
"My goal is to help my patients function more efficiently with less pain or discomfort, hopefully improving their quality of life," she says.
Recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Program pursue graduate study in wide- ranging fields, including nursing, medicine, law, theology, education, fine and performing arts, journalism, theater, business, architecture, and other areas.
Students attending any accredited college or university in the United States were eligible to apply for the scholarship program. Selection criteria included academic achievement, financial need, desire to succeed, leadership, and community involvement.
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is recognized as a leader in the preparation of students for beginning and advanced practice nursing. Graduates of the school's programs are at the forefront in leadership, serving as role models for excellence in nursing practice throughout the world. The School of Nursing is committed to improving care and nursing leadership through its key values of scholarship, leadership and social responsibility. To learn more, visit www.nursing.emory.edu or call 404-727-7980.
Emory University School of Medicine offers five degree programs in the allied health professions. These include the Master of Medical Science (MMSc) degree in anesthesiology/patient monitoring systems, physician assistant, and ophthalmic technology, as well as the Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees. The school offers the Bachelor of Medical Science (BMSc) degree and the Associate in Medical Science degree in radiologic technology.