April 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of
CLARK COLLEGE STUDENT
EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION AND SCHOLARSHIP DOLLARS
Clark College student Melissa Smithdeal was honored in the All-USA Academic Team Competition
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College student Melissa Smithdeal will receive a $1,000 scholarship as a 2009 Coca-Cola National Finalist. Smithdeal earned the scholarship based on her scores in the All-USA Academic Team competition.
The program, which is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the international honor society which recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students.
In addition, Smithdeal, who resides in Vancouver, was named to the 2009 All-Washington Academic Team. She and the other honorees accepted their awards from Gov. Chris Gregoire during a ceremony at South Puget Sound Community College on March 26.
As an All-Washington Academic Team member, Smithdeal will receive scholarships from the Clark College Foundation, KeyBank and the Northwest Education Loan Association, as well as scholarship offers from several public and independent four-year colleges in Washington.
About Melissa Smithdeal
|Melissa Smithdeal (center) is congratulated by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (right) and Clark College President Bob Knight for being named to the 2009 All-Washington Academic Team.|
Knowing what she wants to do for her career hasn’t been a problem for Melissa Smithdeal.
Since the age of 13, when she underwent back surgery to correct scoliosis, she has wanted to be a nurse. Instead, her biggest challenge has been waiting for the day that she could study – and go on to practice – nursing.
To fill the wait, Melissa logged more than 400 hours of volunteer service at Southwest Washington Medical Center’s (SWMC) Family Birth Center, earning the Junior Volunteer of the Year award in 2007.
“She provided a role model of compassion and caring to everyone that she dealt with including patients, families and SWMC staff,” noted Volunteer Services Manager Katie Benzel.
Beyond filing and answering phones, Melissa would use the Spanish she was learning to talk with and reassure patients as they awaited the hospital interpreter. “I cherished every moment because I knew that in my own small way I was helping my community and making someone’s day a little bit brighter,” said Melissa.
Now that she’s enrolled in Clark College’s nursing program, Melissa continues to serve, through the college and in the greater community. She is part of the Students in Service (Americorp) organization at Clark; she is also an active member of both the Student Nurse Association of Clark College (SNACC) and of Alpha Sigma Phi. Melissa has also joined the Medical Reserve Corp and serves as a volunteer and tutor at Teresa’s Family Daycare and Burton Elementary.