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Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship

Applications are open for the 2019 -2020 VWM OSPA Scholarship!

OSPA is proud to announce that there are currently two $2,000 scholarships to be awarded to graduate students in school psychology programs in Ohio.  Applications for the scholarship are available to current first year School Psychology students.  The awards will apply to their second year.

THANK YOU - Scholarship Chairs Paul Soska and Juliette Madigan

Please review the information below:

Eligibility Criteria - Candidates must be student members of the Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA)
                            - Candidates must be in the second term of their first year. 
                            - Candidates must be full-time graduate students attending one of the nine Ohio Graduate Training Programs in School Psychology  

                               Cleveland State University
                               John Carroll University
                               Kent State University
                               Miami University
                               The Ohio State University
                               University of Cincinnati 
                               University of Dayton 
                               University of Toledo
                               Youngstown State University  

Selection Criteria - 40% Financial Need
                            -  30% Academic and Professional Competence
                            -  15% Leadership and Service
                            -  15% Professional Commitment and Aspirations
Selection Committee - Past President, OSPA
                                  - Chair, OSPA Scholarship Committee 
                                  - Financial Aid Director, Graduate Training Program, position rotates every two years
                                  - Dean or designee, Graduate Training Program, position rotates every two years
                                   - Dean or designee, Graduate Training Program, position rotates every two years

Award Amount - Two at $2,000

Renewal - The scholarship is not renewable

Payment Distribution - All awards are paid directly to the educational institution.  The scholarship may be used for any educational expenses.

Application Requirements - 2019 online application available via:
                                          - Complete General Online Application
                                          - Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts
                                          -Additional Essays 
                                            Why did you choose to pursue a career in school psychology?
                                            What challenges do you face or anticipate while completing your education?
                                            What do you believe you can contribute to the practice of school psychology in Ohio?
                                          - Third Letter of Recommendation
                                          -  Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA
                                          - Curriculum Vitae

Deadline - May 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST

Application and Award Process

                             - The Columbus Foundation send notification of the scholarship's availability each spring to eligible schools.

                              - Candidates complete the online application by the deadline.

                              - After the deadline, the Columbus Fou7ndation reviews complete applications for eligibility.

                              - The Foundation sets up the selection committee meeting, ideally before school is out to ensure we get ahold of the committee members before summer.

                             - After the meeting, the Foundation sends award letters to recipients that explain the payment request process and include the proof of enrolment forms. 

                               - Once proof of enrollment has been received by the Foundation, a check will be sent to the recipient's educational institution.

         Contact information - The Columbus Foundation, Alicia Szempruch, Scholarship Manager         


The Ohio School Psychologist Association Scholarship was created by the Executive Board in 2006 and the first $1,000 scholarship was awarded in November 2008. In 2012 we increased the scholarship to $2,000 and in 2015 we were able to increase the number of scholarships to two. This scholarship is funded through the support of our annual raffle at the Fall Conference in Columbus and generous gifts from OSPA members. In 2011 the OSPA Executive Board renamed the scholarship the Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship in honor of our first chair and the guiding force for this scholarship.

 From humble beginnings we have grown our funds through the greathearted donations of publishers who donate materials that school psychologists use; through the 9 Ohio universities where school psychologists are trained; by regional school psychologist associations who bring creative offerings that reflect their geographic/cultural traditions; from personal donations and from memorials.

The Scholarship Committee is currently totaling the donations from the 2018 scholarship raffle and Past President’s Challenge.  The amount is over $7,000 and counting.  The Committee thanks everyone who has participated in adding to this Fund!      

 The funds have been invested and managed by The Columbus Foundation and now total more than $124,000. 

Invitation for Giving:

The Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship is a 501(c) (3).  Contributions are always welcome.  Please make check out to:  The Columbus Foundation with a notation that it is for the Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship - 2085. Please mail contributions to:

Alicia Szempruch
Scholarship Manager
The Columbus Foundation
1234 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43205-1453
Phone: 614/251-4000 Fax: 614/251-4010

Contributions may also be made on line at Click on Give Now.  Click on Search and Give by a Nonprofit  Then Type in Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship -2085. Thank you for considering a tax deductible donation to support the development of school psychologists in Ohio..

The Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship Award Recipients:
2008 Ryan Taylor

 University of Toledo        

2009 Amber Kokal Kent State University
2010 Autumn LaRich University of Dayton
2011 Morgan Jensen University of Dayton
2012 Diahana Davis Cleveland State University
2013 Amy Bruno University of Miami
2014 Estafany Rodriguez Cleveland State University
2015 Nicholas DeHoff University of Miami
  Kallie Pettiti Kent State University
2016 Alanna Bebech Youngstown State University
  Selena Philson Ohio State University
2017 Chia Hong University of Miami
  Alex Passafiume Ohio State University
2018 Taylor Wohlgamuth University of Dayton


Thank you for all you have done to enhance the profession of School Psychology in the state of Ohio!  If you have any questions or concerns please contact: 

Juliette Madigan or Paul Soska,  Scholarship Co-Chairs


Congratulations to our 14th Recipient - Taylor Wohlgamuth from the University of Dayton!

From Valorie Wolcott-Mendelson's introduction November 8, 2018

For 18 years OSPA has conducted a scholarship raffle.  Initially $500 was forwarded to the NASP minority scholarship.  In 2007 the executive board decided to create a state scholarship which would benefit students studying at one of the 9 training universities in Ohio.  Our monies, managed and invested at the Columbus Foundation, have grown to our current balance approaching $125,000, thus insuring that this scholarship will continue into perpetuity.  My involvement with the scholarship has been a source of joy.

Juliette Madigan, the current Scholarship chairperson, asked that I introduce this year’s recipient and I am delighted to do so.

To be a school psychologist we know that one must be bright, skilled, persistent, flexible, curious, tolerant, collaborative, and socially adept at dealing with a variety of situations and people.  This year’s recipient has a great start even though she only recently completed her first year in the school psychology program at Dayton University. 

This is not the first scholarship our recipient has been awarded; it is her fifth since she began her undergraduate program.  She has received numerous awards and recognition for her outstanding academic achievement, including selection as the Outstanding Psychology Student two years while an undergraduate. 

Her personal essay was complete with statements of passion for a career in school psychology.  She likes the collaborative nature of this career and through mentored participation found that she really enjoys the fast-paced demands of being a school psychologist.  Her future appears to be bright and fulfilling for her and for those with whom she interacts.

Early on she chose psychology as her area of study.  As her interest grew, she sought activities which would avail her opportunities to learn, to experience, and to master.  She has engaged in research and presentations in conjunction with her professors.  She has managed several psychology labs; acted as a tutor to her fellow students; served as a camp counselor for children with various disability conditions; and completed an experience in conjunction with the Allen County Jail, in Lima, OH.  None of these activities were required assignments.  Her desire to learn led her to seek these opportunities.

Her letters of recommendations are consistent in their shared perception of this student as capable, willing, persistent, and self-aware with respect to her professional needs to expand her knowledge in areas with which she had little previous exposure.  Laudable personal skills include her openness to feedback and suggestions and her flexibility and adaptability in addressing barriers.

Although described as a quiet person, her strong leadership skills emerge in all activities in which she has engaged.  She is a member of OSPA, NASP, and is currently the OSPA student representative for 2018-19. 

Her personal essay was complete with statements of passion for a career in school psychology.  She likes the collaborative nature of this career and through mentored participation found that she really enjoys the fast-paced demands of being a school psychologist.  Her future appears to be bright and fulfilling for her and for those with whom she interacts.

It is my pleasure to introduce Taylor Wohlgamuth, now a second-year student at Dayton University.  

It is truly an honor to be the recipient of the 2018 Valorie Wolcott Mendelson Scholarship. Thank you to the scholarship committee for selecting me for this amazing opportunity. Additionally, thank you the University of Dayton for always providing their students with support and giving us the resources that we need for success. For any school psychology professional who works with graduate students, please spread the word of this amazing scholarship opportunity. I am so fortunate to be going into a profession that is willing to provide support for graduate students. Thank you. Taylor Wohlgamuth