LifeShare gives 19 scholarships

Adam Griffiths

How much is 321 liters of blood worth?

$9,500 to LifeShare Community Blood Services.

The non-profit organization that organizes on-campus blood drives, in coordination with the Office of Health Promotion and University Health Services, celebrated 11 of 19 recipients of $500 LifeShare scholarships yesterday with a presentation at DeWeese Health Center.

Mary Reeves, director of University Health Services, praised the recipients for their success at Kent State, and, with a background in nursing, identified with the need fulfilled by the blood donations that provided for their scholarships.

“I worked in hospitals for too many years,” Reeves said. “The problem with blood shortages was always an issue. I can’t remember a year that went by when it wasn’t.”

The LifeShare scholarship program began two years ago when Diane Van Tilburg, donor recruitment representative at LifeShare, contacted Reeves about establishing a way to give back to the Kent State community, which is one of the most generous in the area, Van Tilburg said.

“We probably receive quadruple the amount (of blood) that we receive anywhere else,” she said.

For each 30 units of blood collected at an on-campus LifeShare blood drive, the organization establishes a $500 scholarship available to any Kent State student planning on entering a career in health or medicine. Last year, five scholarships were awarded, and 24 students applied for this year’s scholarships resulting from the 321 liters of blood collected during the 2006-07 academic year.

“It’s a testament to the giving spirit here at Kent State and also that you want to help others and further your academic careers,” Van Tilburg told the recipients.

Scholarship winner Erin Mallon, senior health care administration and pre-medicine major, said she’s interested in a medical career “because (she) likes helping people.” Mallon found out about the scholarship when she went to donate blood.

“I often have trouble finding scholarships that are geared specifically towards my major,” she said. “It was really exciting to find out about this one.”

Scholarship winner Colin Dean, senior physical education and health education major, also found out about the LifeShare scholarship by donating blood. Dean said he’s entering the health education field because he feels “each student should have equal access to health education.”

“The greatest wealth is health,” he said.

Students interested in next year’s scholarships should contact Scott Dotterer, director of the Office of Health Promotion, at (330)672-2320. The next LifeShare blood drive will be held Nov. 7 and 8.

Contact health and medicine reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected]