Scholarship helps those with military ties earn allied health education
By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services
A military scholarship in East Carolina University’s College of Allied Health Sciences has received a $10,000 donation.
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association made the donation to the Patriot Scholarship, which ECU Development Officer Pat Frede started in 2008 with an anonymous donation of the same amount from a former naval officer. Other donations the past four years have helped endow the scholarship, which has been awarded to two students so far.
The most recent recipient, Trey Elam, an ECU ROTC member, was commissioned in the U.S. Navy after receiving his master’s degree and now works as an occupational therapist.
“His military leadership and training was quite evident since he was appointed as the student liaison to the dean’s office and served as president of our college’s Student Leadership Council,” said Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences.
The scholarship is based on academic strength, leadership capability and the potential to contribute to an allied health sciences profession. Awardees must be a military member or veteran, or the spouse or child of a military member or veteran.
Frede, a Navy veteran and reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer who served a 14-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2010-2011, said the scholarship was close to her heart. “We have a lot of military friendly people in our area, and because I have a military background, I see the relationship between the military and allied health,” she said.
The college’s role is to prepare highly competent allied health professionals to provide rehabilitation, diagnostic and physical and mental treatment services to a wide range of military and civilian populations. Graduates can be found working in base hospitals and Veterans’ Administration hospitals and clinics, Thomas said.
For military spouses who often are challenged by the workplace because of frequent moves, the Patriot Scholarship offers the promise of a career because “all the allied health fields are portable,” Frede said. “Allied health jobs are growing faster than any other area of health care.”
About 15 CVMA members from Charlotte, Raleigh and eastern North Carolina visited ECU’s Memorial Walk on Oct. 18 to present the donation raised through motorcycle rides and other fundraisers to the college.
The non-profit group, whose members served in combat and share an interest in motorcycles, chose the Patriot Scholarship because of its long-term reach.
“When you have a school as dedicated to veterans, whose students end up going in the community and helping veterans, it’s an opportunity for us to help the community that has given back to us for so long,” said Pete Frede, who is Pat Frede’s husband and state representative for the CVMA who retired after 22 years in the Navy.
Thomas thanked the group for their service to the United States, and gift to the college. “Your gift, your legacy, will continue to support Patriot Scholarship students for generations to come, long after all of us are gone,” Thomas said.
For more information on the scholarship and college, go to http://www.ecu.edu/ah.