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Students Lauren Messina and Jessica Schumacher Receive Hays Scholarship

October 1, 2012

Art Therapy students Lauren Messina and Jessica Schumacher are this year’s recipients of the Ronald E. and Nancy Scheller Hays Art Therapy Scholarship. The scholarship is offered to graduate students in the Art Therapy Master’s Program who complete the required courses in the first year of the program. Recipients are selected based on this criterion, financial need, distinguished academic performance, and letters of recommendation. The scholarship was established for Ron and Nancy Hays, who are both alumni of the Creative Arts Therapy Program at the College. Ron Hays served as the chair of the program before retiring in 2009.

On October 4, Lauren and Jessica had the opportunity to meet with their benefactors Ron and Nancy Hays over lunch at Amuse, the restaurant in Le Meridien Hotel. The group was joined by Dean Gloria Donnelly, Associate Vice President of Development and Marketing Laura Valenti, Chair of the Master’s Program Donna Kaiser, and Betty Hartzell, the Assistant Director of Art Therapy Programs.

“It was an honor to meet Ron and Nancy as a recipient of this award. On a more personal level, it was meaningful to meet an art therapist who has offered so much to our program and field,” Jessica said. She is originally from Medford, New Jersey, where her creative mother and older sister inspired her passion for art. She will be completing an internship this year at an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania where she will conduct art therapy interventions in the adolescent and children’s units.

Lauren Messina holds a BFA in drawing and painting with a concentration in Art Therapy. Her first internship took place at Friends Hospital where she worked with adults with histories of chronic childhood trauma. This experience inspired her thesis topic and interest in working with this population again in the future. “I am very humbled by and excited about being one of this year’s Hays Scholarship recipients. I cannot thank Ron and Nancy enough for this very special opportunity,” Lauren said.