Clarkson University’s 2017 Melissa A. Walsh '03 '05 Memorial Endowed Scholarship has been awarded to doctor of physical therapy student Shawn Lillie of Potsdam, N.Y.
The scholarship was established in memory of Walsh by her family and friends to assist a Clarkson University physical therapy student with qualities and goals similar to Walsh's.
Walsh was a Massena High School and Clarkson University graduate, who lost her life in a 2007 motor vehicle accident. At Clarkson, she earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology in 2003 and a master of physical therapy degree in 2005.
Lillie received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from St. Lawrence University in 2015.
"In addition to communication between interdisciplinary teams, developing patient connections throughout the restorative process largely influenced my pursuit to become a physical therapist," Lillie wrote in his scholarship application.
"It became apparent to me, while living and studying in Kenya, that this was an aspect I truly enjoy. In Kenya, the patient is not regarded as part of the recuperative team, as is common in the United States; they are merely there to receive treatment, and not invited to build a relationship with their attending therapist. It was then I realized I wanted to always have this integral quality in the restorative process.
"That essential relationship with my patients, garnering their trust and developing a rapport, and including them as part of the curative procedure is key to their mobility success."
A description of the scholarship reads, in part:
"The Walsh Scholarship was established to celebrate Melissa’s life and continue support of the physical therapy profession. Melissa was a standout student, respected amongst professors and peers... She went on to become a licensed physical therapist and worked in outpatient orthopedics. Melissa put her heart into all that she did, whether relationships, education, or employment. Melissa was a role model in every sense of the word, in her personal life, her professional commitment, and her belief in caring for others... Melissa’s life and accomplishments are an excellent example of what a Clarkson University student should strive to achieve."