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June 2011 Issue

Jessica Sisto (right)
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2011 Schmidlapp Scholarship Winner Dedicated to Women's Health and Community Engagement

By Angela Koenig
Published June 2011

Third-year UC medical student Jessica Sisto is the 2011 recipient of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Scholarship.

This award of $15,000 is given to a female student in the senior class who has demonstrated leadership ability, with particular emphasis on women’s issues, academic achievement and community involvement.

The Schmidlapp gift is administered by Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, and is connected by history to Jacob Schmidlapp, a prominent Cincinnati banker and philanthropist whose Union Savings Bank merged with Fifth Third in 1919.

The trust has contributed over $1.6 million toward art, health and community initiatives. Schmidlapp directed that grants be restricted to helping women establish themselves in life.

Today the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund promotes the study of math and science for women in the Greater Cincinnati area.

"Receiving this scholarship was an incredibly important achievement for me, as it represents the culmination of many years dedicated to women’s health and community engagement and reinforces that I have been doing something right along the way,” says Sisto who applied for the scholarship while working in a clinic in rural Honduras on a women’s health project.

 "Our College of Medicine is blessed with so many talented female medical students, and I believe that we empower each other to pursue the passions that drive us,” she says of taking a year off from medical school to live and work abroad with underserved populations.
That experience, she says, gave her an entirely new perspective and appreciation for the hardships of women across the globe. Sisto says she is torn between seeking a residency in either obsetrics and gynecology or urology.

In addition to her demanding course schedule, Sisto has been actively involved in the following organizations: Urban Health Project co-director; co-president of the American Medical Student Association; Medical Students for Choice; LGBT People in Medicine' and member of the Initiative of Poverty, Justice and Health-Medical Student Scholars Program.

The Schmidlapp Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards in the College of Medicine. Funds from the scholarship are used to offset tuition costs in the final year of medical school.

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