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Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship

 Introductions to our 2017 scholarship recipients - 

Our First recipient is a committed human being.   While graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science from The Ohio State University he demonstrated an interest in service to others.  After graduation Alex pondered the next step by taking a gap year and volunteering through City Year Columbus.  For that year Alex tutored 4th grade students, ran an after school program and worked with teachers and shadowed school psychologists and an intern.  It is telling that after his shadowing experience, the school psychologist recommended him to Antoinette Miranda for the School Psych. Program at OSU. 

 Dr. Miranda remarked that: “Alex has a passion for working with children that are often marginalized and “othered” in our schools.  Alex is passionate about leveling the playing field for children who live in poverty filled environments.  He knows it is important to work for social justice.  He is looking forward to working in an urban environment; getting to know the neighborhood his schools and he can’t wait to put his efforts into influencing educational policies. “

 Alex maintains high academic honors, has had a poster presentation here and will be presenting at NASP this winter.  He is expanding his knowledge and influence as a member of the SPCO Executive Board this year.

I am assured that we’ll see more great things from our 12th recipient a student at The Ohio State University, Alex Passafiume.                                                                           

Our second recipient today is also a highly committed person, globally focused and culturally attuned.  She attended the University of Kentucky for her undergraduate degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude in Psychology and International Studies.  While a student there she studied factors that contribute to the widening or lowering of the achievement gap among Latino students.  As an undergrad, Chia volunteered at a summer program to assist elementary students (with refugee status) to begin to acclimate to the American culture and strengthen their reading and writing skills. 

Following graduation, Chia received a Fulbright Fellowship and became an English teaching assistant in Taiwan.  Chia worked with English language learners for two years before entering Miami University.  Her master thesis project is to examine the Butler County Success Program’s impact on low income students with mental health diagnoses.  She continues to maintain high honors in school earning a 4.0.

Dr. Erin Harper at Miami writes that: “Chia is an intelligent, positive and capable student leader.  I estimate Chia is in the top 1% of students with whom I have worked.  She is one of the most deserving students I have recommended for any award. “

I present to you the 13th recipient of the OSPA Scholarship Award – Chia Hong from Miami University.

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.


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 very pleased to announce that the overall profits from the scholarship raffle and Past President’s Challenge totaled $6,369 for 2017.  Once again, the committee is deeply thankful to all those who have a hand in supporting the future of our profession through this means. 

It was a delight to target our Past Presidents again this year.  We have been able to use this wonderful opportunity to share news of the 75th Anniversary and the scholarship with all the past presidents no matter where in the U.S. they are currently thriving!  Corresponding with those we don’t see regularly gave us the chance to share with them the success of our scholarship efforts and the strength of our organization and to thank them again, for providing us current members with a great foundation.   

 The funds have been invested and managed by The Columbus Foundation. With the most recent raffle’s success we are nearing $117,500. This amount allows us to offer two $2,000 scholarships each year for perpetuity.

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.

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. 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 Search and Give by a Nonprofit  Then Type in Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship. Thank you for considering a tax deductible donation to support the development of school psychologists in our state.

First Year Students Application Information:

Scholarship applications have been sent to the University trainers.  They are also available on the Columbus Foundation website (  Interested first year students should submit applications by the deadline of June 1, 2018 at 5pm.  The selection committee meets during the summer and the money s deposited at the recipients' bursar’s office prior to the start of the fall semester of their second year of training.

If you know someone who you believe is a worthy candidate, please encourage him or her to apply.

Online Scholarship Application - 2018 (not open at this time Check Back May 1)

The Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship Award Recipients:
2008      Ryan Taylor        2013    Amy Bruno
2009     Amber Kokal    2014   Estafany Rodriguez
2010    Autumn LaRich    2015   Nicholas DeHoff and Kallie Pettiti
2011    Morgan Jensen   2016   Alanna Bebech and Selena Philson


   Diahana Davis   2017   Chia Hong and Alex Passafiume


Juliette Madigan and Paul Soska
OSPA Scholarship Co-Chairs

Click HERE to join or view OSPA committees or work groups (must be logged in).