Five students receive LifeShare scholarships

Allison Bray

Five students received scholarships this week that were paid for in blood.

Each $500 scholarship is the result of 35 units of blood being donated to LifeShare Community Blood Services.

So far this semester, enough blood has been collected for five scholarships, which will be given out in Fall 2007. At the last LifeShare blood drive, 225 people donated for a total of 209 units – one away from a sixth scholarship, said Mary Reeves, University Health Services director.

When LifeShare contacted Reeves and asked if she would be interested in sponsoring blood drives, she agreed.

“I believe it’s an important thing to do,” she said. “This seemed like a wonderful opportunity because of the need for blood.”

LifeShare also told Reeves scholarships would be available to students, making the partnership even more beneficial.

“I continue to be amazed by the generosity of students by giving their time and their blood,” she said. “Too often the negative things students do are publicized. It’s students helping students and students helping the community.”

While LifeShare gives the scholarships to Kent State, it is up to University Health Services to choose the recipients.

Sarah Hallsky, a graduate assistant in the Office of Health Promotion, said she did research with fellow graduate assistant Allison Bruce into each of the scholarship applicants. After Hallsky and Bruce narrowed down the candidates, those names were turned over to Reeves, who had the final say.

Applicants, who were required to be in the health field, had to send in essays stating why they needed the money, said Marti Musil, a graduate assistant in University Health Services.

The essay also had to include what the student thought his or her main contribution to the health field would be after graduation.

Musil said they were looking for answers that were more in-depth than “I’m going to be a nurse.”

Diane Van Tilburg, a donor recruitment representative for LifeShare, said the organization depends on students to supply a lot of its blood supply.

“Twenty percent of our blood supply comes from students,” she said.

Van Tilburg describes the scholarship program as a win-win situation. LifeShare gets blood, and students get help furthering their education.

Though both LifeShare and the Red Cross collect blood, they are not the same thing, Van Tilburg said.

“We are just a blood center, we don’t do disaster relief,” Van Tilburg said, adding that blood donated to Lifeshare also stays in Ohio.

LifeShare will be back on campus Oct. 30 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact health and medical reporter Allison Bray at [email protected].

LifeShare Scholarship Winner

• Sarah Walsh, senior school health education

• Kelsie Bredon, senior nursing major

• Eric Bell, junior chemistry and pre-med major

• Sara Rizzi, senior integrated health services major

• Winola Amoeio, junior child and adolescent nursing