Jade Clark, a senior in the Speech Language Pathology Program at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS), is the recipient of a $7,500 Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship, one of only six college students across the country to earn the merit-based scholarship. Clark is the first UC student to win the Gallagher Scholarship, given out annually since 2001 by the student health insurance company.
This honor is the latest in a series for Clark as in her time at UC, she has received several scholarships and awards. In addition to the Gallagher Scholarship, she is the 2016 recipient of the Annie Fitzgerald Award for Leadership and Service, and also received the 2016 Kacher-Bloom Memorial Scholarship. Clark is in the McNair Scholar program and as part of that has been selected to be affiliated with the LEND Training Program
for the academic year.
She is also active in several campus organizations and volunteers for many groups on and off campus, including living in the Gen-1 house and serving as a Gen-1 ambassador. Clark is a student worker in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, giving her inter disciplinary experience.
"Jade is a well-rounded student who exhibits strong leadership qualities, academic excellence, sincerity, with a dedicated commitment to service,Ē says Carney Sotto, PhD, CCC-SLP, director of Undergraduate Studies in Communication Sciences & Disorders. "She is a mature young woman who is bright, independent, and focused. She is a hard-working and articulate student who exhibits strong leadership qualities and excels academically with an exceptional work ethic. She has a generosity of spirit and a true agent of change.Ē
Why did you come to UC?
"I grew up in Golf Manor and went to Walnut Hills High School where I took a class in anatomy and physiology during my junior year. I became fascinated with how the body works and I always wanted to help people and do something health-related but I donít like blood and needles.
"I wasnít sure what path to take so I looked up jobs dominated by females and saw a list that included speech language pathologists. I did some research on it, looked up UCís program and talked to some professors and students and decided I had to do it.Ē
What is your reaction to being the first UC student to win the Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship?
"Itís a national scholarship, I had no intentions of winning it, I just put it out there to see what happens. When I got the call this summer I was just so shocked.
"It feels good to know that Iím the first UC student to win this, and I feel like there are a lot of scholarships people wonít apply for because they donít think they have a chance to get it. Just to know that some of my hard work is paying off and people at the scholarship noticed feels good.Ē
Can you give us some background on the McNair Scholar program that youíre involved in?
"Itís a research-based program, that basically pushes minority and first-generation students to go to graduate school. Most of us are not statistically shown to go to graduate school or succeed in graduate school. I think I found out about that before I got to UC, so Iíve always been looking for opportunities like this.Ē
What is your motivation to be so active as a volunteer and be involved in so many organizations?
"The motivation comes from my mom. She went to UC for about a semester and then dropped out. She was always pushing my brother, my sister and me to go to college and make a better life for ourselves.
"She always said she wanted us to do better than she did. I think that was my initial motivation. Along the way, knowing what career Iím going into, a career thatís going to be helping people, I feel like the volunteering and other community things that Iím doing help prepare me for that. So I figure, Ďwhy not volunteer?í Itís what Iím going to be doing anyway. It feels good to do it and take time out of our busy lives and give it back to somebody else.Ē
Tell us about the Gen-1 program and the impact it has had on you.
"The Gen-1 Residential Scholarship is for first-generation college students who are also Pell Grant eligible. It was created in 2008, and gives students accepted into the program a place to live on campus in the Gen-1 Theme House. The housing aspect of it was created to give first generation students who may feel kind of lost on campus a family feeling to know that theyíre not in this alone.
"Itís provided a really good foundation for me for everything else Iíve been able to do at UC. Without Gen-1 I donít know if I would be in college just because of the financial support that they were able to give and then living on campus which provides a completely different experience than living off campus. Gen-1 is a great program.Ē