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Charlotte County Student Awarded National Fellowship Award
9/21/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - Grantmakers in Aging recently selected Florida Gulf Coast University recreational therapy graduate student Karen M. Tomasello of Charlotte County as one of eight participants in the organization's 2004 Fellows Program.

Director of the FGCU Center for Positive Aging Linda Buettner nominated Tomasello in July. "We are honored to have a national winner," Buettner said.

The GIA Web site () says the Fellows Program was "initiated in 1999 to provide outstanding graduate students an opportunity to learn firsthand some of the challenges and opportunities present in our aging society by attending the GIA Annual Conference. The Fellows are an important scholarly addition to the Conference programming and an investment in the future of the field."

The GIA Fellows Program targets the specific geographic location that corresponds to its annual conference site. This year, the conference is Oct. 27-29 in Miami.

"Ms. Tomasello's appointment as a national fellow is a testament to the high quality and excellence of students in the College of Health Professions," vice president for Academic Affairs Bonnie Yegidis said.

"Ms. Tomasello's achievement is to be commended as it displays not only her exceptional talents but also FGCU's commitment to national prominence in higher education"

Fellowship recipients have the opportunity at the conference to interact with GIA members and participate in events that showcase their individual research interests. The fellowship stipend covers conference registration, lodging and travel.

This year's conferences focuses on local and national program models including topics on Medicare legislation, advocacy, economic and workforce concerns, advances in healthcare delivery, non-traditional partnerships, diversity, intergenerational and environmental issues - and many other issues.

The Grantmakers in Aging organization is "dedicated to promoting and strengthening grantmaking for an aging society and is the only national professional organization of grantmakers active in the field," according to its Web site.

"GIA's membership includes leading staff and trustees from all sizes and types of foundations involved directly or indirectly with aging."

The GIA Fellows Program is cosponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mather Lifeways and The McGregor Foundation.

For more information, contact Buettner at (239) 590-7497 or lbuettne@fgcu.edu .


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