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Augusta University Faculty Club awards health sciences scholarships

The Augusta University Faculty Club has awarded five $2,000 scholarships to students from each health sciences college for the next academic year. Exceptional applicants were chosen via a blind review process based on three criteria: financial need, academic promise and service to others. Read more about each of this year’s scholarship recipients.

Rachel Smith, College of Allied Health Sciences
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“This scholarship will make an incredible difference in how I am able to develop and deepen my education in the Department of Physical Therapy at Augusta University. With this scholarship, I will be able to select rotations in locations and settings that may have not been possible otherwise, broadening the scope of patients I will be able to treat of different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and faiths.

Being in my third and final year, it is extremely important to me to have the opportunities to learn about, observe and treat as many different diagnoses and patient populations as possible. 

Also, this scholarship will give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge into a field that I am very interested in: oncologic physical therapy. This coming March, I will be travelling to a clinic in the Atlanta area that specializes in breast cancer and lymphedema management. With the funds from the AUFC Scholarship, I will be able to take a few continuing education courses that will deepen and reinforce the knowledge I will receive at that clinic.”

Cassidy McDaniel, College of Nursing
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“I am currently a second-year Doctor of Nursing Practice student in the Nursing Anesthesia Program. The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists field is essential in providing access to safe anesthesia care in a variety of settings, and is especially important in rural/underserved areas.

I am so appreciative to be selected for this scholarship, as it will allow me to fully focus on my studies and engage in educational opportunities without as much financial load.

Knowing there are people who care about me and my goals as much as I do motivates me to continue putting in the hard work not just in my program, but ultimately for my future patients. I plan to work in the North Georgia area after graduation, providing greater access to care in a rural part of Georgia.”

Isabella Battallas, Dental College of Georgia
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“After graduating in May 2024 with my DMD/MBA, I will hopefully begin an advanced education in general dentistry or general practice residency to become a more competent, well-rounded dental professional who can perform more challenging surgical cases, including implants, endodontics and extractions, as well as gain more experience with medically compromised patients and pediatric patients.

Being a dentist that can address all people and situations in the dental field of rural living, where I intend to practice, is critical since health care professionals are sparse out there.”

Shahar Laks, Medical College of Georgia
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“As an immigrant to the United States, my parents worked hard to give me endless support and provide me with everything I needed, but have persistently encouraged me to work hard to earn everything that I wanted.

Nevertheless, as I began medical school immediately after finishing my undergraduate degrees, and as I was responsible for the finances, the cost of my education has been a financial burden. This scholarship will help me continue my path to becoming an OB/GYN.

Looking ahead at what my future in medicine entails, I believe my purpose of becoming a physician is to be a part of ending racial and ethnic inequities in health care, specifically when it comes to maternal health. It will be the greatest privilege to continue to fight for all women every single day.”

Amy Malcolm, The Graduate School
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“I feel so honored to accept this award. These funds will help me finish my Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. It is a welcomed relief from the financial constraints that graduate education presents.

I recently used these scholarship funds to go to Dublin, Ireland Aug. 21-24 to present my poster at the 12th International Council of Nurses Nurse Practitioner / Advanced Practice Nursing Network Conference.”

This year’s scholarship committee chair, Josette Kubicki, worked with club members Ashley Christman; Prajakta Shreeram Kulkarni, BDS; Susan Murray, PhD; Veena Pannu, BDS; Rhucha Samudra, PhD; Mark Vranicar, MD and Lufei Young, PhD to select the scholarship awardees.

For over four decades, Faculty Club members have raised money for scholarships through fundraising events, donation campaigns and memorial gifts. Their efforts have paved the way for many outstanding students to be able to continue pursuing careers in health care.

The Faculty Club welcomes donations any time throughout the year. Donate online to contribute any amount for next year’s scholarships. For alternative payment options, email the Faculty Club.

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Written by
Paige Boeke

Paige Boeke is a communications coordinator for Communications and Marketing at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at pfowler@augusta.edu.

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Written by Paige Boeke

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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