SPRINGFIELD — Donna M. Clapp of Feeding Hills was selected from 2,500 applicants nationwide to receive the $1,000 Paul Cole Scholarship from the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM). Clapp is a first-year student in the Nuclear Medicine program at Springfield Technical Community College, studying toward a degree in Diagnostic Medical Imaging. The award will be presented at the society’s national meeting in June.
Clapp’s scholarship is one of only 20 awarded this year by the national association, in the categories of baccalaureate, associate, and certificate programs.
The Paul Cole Scholarships provide support for nuclear medicine technology students. The awards honor the memory of a champion of student education, Paul Cole, who died in 1986 while he was serving as president of the SNM Technologist Section.
The Society of Nuclear Medicine is an international scientific and professional organization founded in 1954 to promote the science, technology, and practical application of nuclear medicine. Its 15,000 members are physicians, technologists, and scientists specializing in the research and practice of nuclear medicine. In addition to publishing journals, newsletters, and books, the society also sponsors international meetings and workshops designed to increase the competencies of nuclear medicine practitioners and to promote new advances in the science of nuclear medicine.
Richard Serino, chairman of the Nuclear Medicine program at STCC, explained that the SNM scholarships are awarded based on the student’s statement of goals, prior academic performance, current financial need, and the recommendation of the program director.
A Dean’s List student, Clapp is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at STCC. She participates in PTK extracurricular activities on and off campus, and devotes time to community service volunteer work on her own. She goes to area nursing homes, “visiting patients, talking with them, bringing them snacks, and taking them out for short trips.”
In 1982, Clapp took courses in the Dental Assistant program at STCC and then earned certification in dental radiology at Tufts. She is still employed as a dental assistant, but was drawn to the field of nuclear medicine. “I love working with people, and I love the sciences,” she said. “This field keeps progressing. There are always new techniques and increasing capabilities; there always seems to be something new, some new way to help patients. It’s definitely a diverse field.”