Clarkson University’s 2018 Melissa A. Walsh '03 '05 Memorial Endowed Scholarship has been awarded to doctor of physical therapy student Rachael Calhoun of Redwood, 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.
Calhoun received her bachelor of science degree in biology from Clarkson in 2017.
“My personal experiences have helped reassure me that Physical Therapy is my career path and helping people is my calling,” Calhoun wrote in her scholarship application.
"In March 2014, I received a call from my family saying my mom had a stroke. She was rushed to Upstate Medical Center and she lost all function in her left arm. She had extensive physical therapy and I watched as the therapy helped her regain full function in her arm. The therapist worked tirelessly to help my mom and this experience made me realize that physical therapy was the right career path for me. I am so grateful for the work this therapist did and I want to help people have the same opportunity to have these positive results.”
After losing both of her grandparents unexpectedly to heart attacks, Calhoun has found her calling, “My experiences with my grandparents has made me seriously consider a specialty in cardiac rehab or acute care because I want to be able to help patients’ families avoid these tragedies and devastation I have experienced.”
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."