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The countless hours devoted to schoolwork over the past few years literally paid off for Katharine Wilchek DPT’17—an aspiring physical therapist recently named as one of 12 recipients of the Association of Schools of Allied HealthProfessions’ Scholarship of Excellence.
“I find myself so fascinated with physical therapy, and I can truly say that I have been shaped by this profession because I see its value everywhere that I go and in everything that I do,” said Wilchek, who is currently in the midst of completing her clinical rotations.
Each year, this competitive $1,000 scholarship recognizes a select number of U.S. college students in the allied health professions who are achieving excellence in their academic programs and have significant potential to assume future leadership roles in the allied health professions. These types of health professions include physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, physician assistant, and clinical laboratory sciences. However, they exclude the medicine, optometry, dentistry, veterinary science, osteopathy, podiatry, and pharmacy disciplines.
Wilchek was the only scholarship recipient this year who represented a Pennsylvania college or university, and she was recognized alongside students from institutions such as Texas Tech University, University of Utah, and University of Connecticut.
Several qualities were taken into consideration when determining the scholarships recipients and unique accomplishments were factors that set the winners apart from the rest of the applicants. Among the qualities considered by the scholarship selection committee included an applicant’s academic achievements, service to the institution and the community, leadership, extracurricular activities, and evidence of strong communication skills.
Wilchek earned the privilege to address her classmates in recognition of her outstanding achievements during USciences' recent BS Conferment Ceremony for fourth-year students enrolled in its six-year occupational therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacy programs. She also remains active in several student organizations and clubs on campus, including Greek life and Motions Dance Company.
“I believe that if you are prepared and resourceful, you can do anything that you want like succeed in graduate school, become a licensed healthcare professional, and earn the trust and respect of your patients and colleagues, which is what I plan to do,” said Wilchek.