Clarkson University’s Melissa A. Walsh ’03 ’05 Memorial Endowed Scholarship has been awarded to a second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student Shelby MacIntosh of Waddington, NY and a first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student Kathryn Ackner of Queensbury, NY.
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.
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."
These two students were chosen from a robust pool of qualified applications due to their commitment and passion for physical therapy positively impacting all those around them. Both Ms. MacIntosh and Ms. Ackner portray a strong sense of professionalism and a profound desire to work with the public. In her application, Ms. MacIntosh wrote “For me, professionalism expands beyond the classroom. It is more than being respectful, being kind, and being passionate about helping people. It is about being able to accept certain feelings such as anxiety, fear, and doubt and be able to navigate the unknown with a smile still on your face.” When writing about her experiences observing a physical therapist in the clinic working with a patient who had just started to make progress after a severely debilitating accident, Ms. Ackner wrote “The feeling of that moment was incredible, and it was in that moment that I knew physical therapy was for me. The patient connection felt in physical therapy drew me in completely, and I was only observing a single session. Working hands-on with people to make them smile like that and help improve their lives, even just a little bit, became my career goal.” Through their applications, Ms. MacIntosh and Ms. Ackner demonstrated clearly that they represent those things most important to Melissa and her family.