Five undergraduate students at Michigan Technological University have been selected to receive inaugural Portage Health Foundation/Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarships.
Randy Owsley made an impact that would last a lifetime, in fact, beyond his lifetime. During the 18 years he was the Head Athletic Trainer for Michigan Tech, he worked with a group of student trainers who bonded with him and with each other. Even after Randy left Tech in 1988, he continued to influence them and their careers. That cadre of former student trainers have remained close today.
Randy died on Thanksgiving morning of 2015. Although his former students are a living legacy of his impact, these former students wanted to establish a lasting tribute here at Michigan Tech. Working in partnership with Portage Health Foundation, these alumni have created and funded the Randy Owsley Memorial – Portage Health Foundation Scholarship. Every dollar the alumni gave, the campus-wide Portage Health Foundation grant matched to help them reach their initial goal of providing 5, $1,000 scholarships this year to five student athletic trainers. The long-term goal is to endow the scholarship fund as a lasting tribute to Randy and his influence.
The scholarships are designed to create opportunities for students participating in Michigan Tech’s Athletic Training Internship Program, for those enter health science and engineering professions.
The $500 scholarships, which are renewable for an additional semester, are named after the late Randy Owsley, who spent 18 years as the Huskies’ head athletic trainer and passed away in 2015. Former student athletic trainers who worked with Owsley worked in launching the scholarship as a means of keeping his name associated with Michigan Tech and to show gratitude for the service he provided athletes and life lessons he taught student trainers.
The scholarships were presented at a ceremony this past fall.
This year’s scholarship winners are:
- Marissa Kinney, Berkley, Michigan, a fourth-year medical laboratory science major now in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
- Kelsey Saladin, Maple Grove, Minnesota, a third-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
- Emily Gilkes, Edgewood, Kentucky, a fourth-year biological sciences/pre-med major in her third year as a student athletic trainer.
- Sydney Smuck, Traverse City, Michigan, a second-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
- Hali Evans, Lake Isabella, California, a third-year (transfer) exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
In addition to submitting their resume, applicants were required to submit a 300-word written response or one-to-three minute video response addressing two questions; “How has athletic training internship played a role in health promotion in our local community” and “How has the athletic training internship helped you academically and in the profession that you desire.”
Jason Carter, professor and chair of Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology says he was impressed with the quality of the applicants.
These are excellent students from multiple majors and I am very pleased they will have a chance to be rewarded for their high levels of engagement with our athletic trainers and our sports teams. They deal with amazing real-world situations that will prepare them well for careers in health care professions.
Brian Brewster, director of sports medicine and performance at Michigan Tech says student athletic trainers often make huge sacrifices, and the scholarships help them pursue their education and career paths.
“Our athletic training students donate their time to assist the student athletes on a daily basis and are an integral part of their success,” Brewster says.
It is wonderful to be able to offer them a scholarship for all of their time and effort. Without the assistance of our student athletic trainers if would be very difficult to get our jobs done. We have more than 350 student athletes and we are pleased to continue with what Randy began and that is giving our student athletic trainers a hands-on experience. Randy had a big impact on a lot of students at Michigan Tech and it’s nice to be able to honor him with the help of the Portage Health Foundation.
Applicants were judged in leadership in the athletic training internship program by bringing ideas for improvement, volunteering for assignments and participation in fall sports coverage. They are expected to maintain an appropriate grade point average and help maintain the athletic training internship program by serving as a mentor for future athletic training internship students and assisting in the recruitment of new students.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.