CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University student from Auke Bay, Alaska, has earned two top honors at OSU.
Elizabeth Ann Fitzgerald, a senior in exercise and sports science with a minor in psychology, has earned the American Association of University Women Senior Woman Recognition Award and was named a Clara H. Waldo and E.A. Cummings Outstanding Student Award Honoree. The AAUW award recognizes outstanding scholarship, character and personality that contributes to campus and community life.
The Waldo and Cummings student awards are presented to outstanding students on the basis of academic skills and superior extracurricular achievements. Clara Waldo was the first woman regent of the Board of Regents in 1905 and E.A. Cummings was a local businessman whose widow established a perpetual endowment in his honor in 1948.
Fitzgerald has served as president of OSU's Pre-Therapy Club, which is run by students in the university's College of Health and Human Performance and the College of Science. Club members share information and assist each other with applying and getting accepted to physical therapy and occupational therapy professional programs. Students also organize speakers, sponsor fund-raising events and participate in surveys to determine accessibility issues for the disabled.
As president of the club, Fitzgerald helped organize a "Wheel-a-Thon" event that puts able-bodied people in wheelchairs to negotiate simple obstacle courses in timed competition. The event raised $1,100 for OSU's Special Physical and Motor Fitness Clinic, which develops structured activities for children with disabilities.
Fitzgerald has also worked with Steve Hannigan-Downs, OSU assistant professor of health and human performance, to co-author a manuscript detailing development of a pictorial physical activity preference scale for adults with developmental disabilities. They presented their work at a meeting of the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity in New Orleans last November.
She has also earned The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi's Junior Accolades recognition. Junior Accolades are awarded to juniors in the upper 10 percent of their class within their college.