College of Allied Health Sciences celebrates scholarship recipients, donors

A relatively small donation nearly 40 years ago created a domino effect of generosity that continues to help students in the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences.

On March 26, the college celebrated its scholarship recipients and their donors during a scholarship celebration at Rock Springs Center banquet hall in Greenville. During the event, the college awarded 69 scholarships to 66 students for the upcoming academic year. The awards totaled $106,650 and ranged in value from $500 to $5,000 each.

Scholarship recipient Aliaha Austin, an undergraduate in communication sciences and disorders, speaks with donors during the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences’ annual scholarship celebration at Rock Springs Center on March 26. (Photos by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

Scholarship recipient Aliaha Austin, an undergraduate in communication sciences and disorders, speaks with donors during the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences’ annual scholarship celebration at Rock Springs Center on March 26. (Photos by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

Donors choose to give for a variety of reasons. For Stas and Brenda Humienny, who graduated from the college with degrees in clinical lab sciences in 1979, it was about having a personal understanding of the financial hardship that often comes with being a full-time student, and how much it can make a difference when someone provides assistance.

“The event from the past that made this an easy decision occurred during our senior year in the CLS program,” the Humiennys said via email. “Brenda had exhausted all sources of money and saw no choice but to drop out of school for a year, work to raise funds, and then graduate a year later. A pathologist learned of her situation, gave her a check for $500, and the rest is history. We cannot even imagine how our lives would have changed had it not been for that kind and generous gesture.”

As a way of paying it forward, the couple established the Stas & Brenda Humienny Endowed Scholarship in 2006, and have continued to contribute to that fund since. They said they hope that their generosity will be passed along in the same way in the future.

“We are so hopeful that today’s scholarship recipients will be tomorrow’s benefactors to all disciplines covered by allied health,” the couple said.

Dr. David Edwards of Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness speaks to the crowd at the ceremony.

Dr. David Edwards of Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness speaks to the crowd at the ceremony.

Jenyqua Young, a junior health services management student and scholarship recipient, hopes to become a health care administrator at a hospital with the hopes of helping to serve communities in need.

“Receiving the Loiuse O. Burevitch Memorial Scholarship is truly a life changing moment,” she said. “It will aid me in my educational and professional journey to serve underprivileged and underserved communities that are at a disadvantage when it comes to the quality of health care services.”

Scholarship recipient Katlyn Fry, a graduate of ECU’s Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program and the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree, is now working on a master’s in speech-language pathology at ECU.

While working at a camp for underprivileged children, Fry met a child on the spectrum for autism and was unable to form words on his own, igniting a passion in Fry for helping others communicate.

“This is how I learned about the career of speech-language pathology and it became my passion,” she said. “Both the Meta Downes and James and Carol White scholarships are helping me achieve my goal of helping those who cannot help themselves. For this, I am eternally grateful.”

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications