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Sept. 3 2008 12:00 AM

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) has awarded $30,000 in Scholarships and Fellowships to 26 students for the year 2008-2009. The foundation first created these award programs in 2004 and has funded them annually ever since.


The Scholarship Program celebrates the NSPF commitment to education by helping Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification graduates and their family members pursue further education. The Scholarship Committee approved $26,000 in scholarships to 24 students who are pursuing higher education. The students are from around the US, pursuing college degrees in a variety of subject areas. Adam Bradshaw, Rowan University in New Jersey, received the Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000. Nicolle Fagan, University of Miami, received the Raymond B. Essick Scholarship for $2,000. We are proud to help empower students to new academic heights, says Bill Kent, Scholarship Review Committee Chair. We are all about educational excellence. It feels good to help others achieve their goals, he adds.


The following students were awarded $1,000 scholarships: Christine Bennett University of Georgia, Jacqueline Berry Baldwin-Wallace College, Mandi Dupain Eastern Michigan University, Lindsey Ervin Seminole Community College, Siedah Garrison University of Michigan, Matthew Harris Southeast Missouri State University, Kara Jenkins Brigham Young University, Kelsey Kohout University of Wisconsin, Lauren Lambrecht Hodges University, Heather McCormick Blinn College, Marina Metzler Ohio Wesleyan University, Gary Meyer University of California Berkeley, Amy Moore West Virginia University, Ashley Piatt West Virginia University, Sarah Poveda Augsburg College, Billy Roach University of Tennessee, Ryan Roach Maryville College, Lisa Rockey West Virginia University, Roberta Scheuer University of Georgia, Kersten Stanton St. Martins University, Carolyn Stevens University of Washington, and Jennifer White Eastern Michigan University. Applicants submit professional information and recommendations, and write a research essay with at least three scientific references. The essays this year focused on explaining how immersion in water or an aquatic activity helps prevent, minimize, or reverse negative health effects.


The NSPF Fellowship Program was established to encourage and support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are performing risk reduction or health benefit research related to aquatic activities and/or venues such as swimming pools, spas/hot tubs, therapy pools and water parks. This year, two graduate students received an award of $2,000 each.


William Weaver, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, was awarded a fellowship to continue his work in analyzing volatile DBP in Indoor Swimming Pools where he is conducting research at 12 different swimming pools in 9 different facilities. Up until now, few studies have focused on full-scale swimming pools. Mr. Weaver is in his second year of research on this project, funded last year in part by NSPF, working with co-investigators Yuli Wen, Jessica Johnston, Jing Li, and Ernest R. Blatchley III . Mr. Weaver will present his four month data at the World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) on October 17. A 36 year old father of two boys, who has enjoyed swimming and coaching for 30 years. ,Weaver says Until now, swimming has been my life and water has always been my first love. I have decided to leave the coaching lifestyle behind and use my experience to research many of the air and water quality concerns that accompany todays indoor aquatic facilities. I feel I will be able to provide a unique perspective and approach to the growing demands of the indoor aquatics industry.


Jessica Ensign, College of Education and Human Services, Utah State University was awarded a fellowship to perform research that compares biomechanical, physiological and psychological responses between aquatic treadmill gait (walking and running) and body weight supported treadmill gait. Her research will look at healthy subjects with no orthopedic injuries. It will also address the benefits of aquatic exercise for treating patients with osteoarthritis, utilizing many of the same methods as the Dr. Dolny study funded by NSPF, which will be reported at the 2008 WAHC. Jessica grew up in Chicago where she began swimming competitively at the age of five and continued all through high school, breaking school records in the 100 and 200-yd. butterfly, 100, 200 and 500-yd. freestyle, 200-yd. individual medley, and the 100-yd. backstroke. Ensign says her ultimate dream was to swim at the Olympics, but due to surgeries, I decided to pursue my goal of becoming a biomechanics professor and swim coach. I was born to be by the pool and I want to help others learn the benefits of swimming, possibly helping others make their Olympic dreams come true. Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of NSPF concludes, We are fortunate that aquatics attract such bright researchers illuminating key solutions. On their active shoulders our future rests.


Information on how to apply for scholarships and fellowships is available at The NSPF Scholarship Review Committee reviews all submitted applications and awards scholarships and fellowships in the summer of each year. Applicants are only eligible to receive one scholarship and one fellowship award from NSPF. Volunteers who wish to serve on the Scholarship Review Committee in 2009 should send their resume to or call 719.540.9119.

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1965, committed to improving public health by encouraging healthier living through aquatic education and research. The NSPF funds grants to help reduce risk at aquatic facilities and is the largest funding source for grants to study aquatic health benefits in swimming pools and hot tubs.


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