Scholarship fund established in honor of former Health Professions Executive Dean Sara Hopkins-Powell

Trustee John King bestows initial gift to fund international education opportunities for students and faculty.

Pacific University has received a gift from Trustee John King in the amount of $100,000 to establish the Sara Hopkins-Powell Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of Hopkins-Powell, currently the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs who served as executive dean of the College of Health Professions from 2005-10.

The fund supports student and faculty international education opportunities, as well as international students' education at Pacific. Community service to underserved populations is usually a component of applicant proposals.

The initial three scholarship recipients are: Melissa Lutsch, a graduate student in the College of Education; Amanda Terrell, a doctoral candidate in the School of Professional Psychology; and Brandon Smith, a student in the School of Physician Assistant Studies.

Lutsch is on schedule to graduate this summer with an endorsement in Special Education. She previously earned her master's degree in secondary education at Pacific and currently carries a 4.0 grade point average.

Lutsch's schlolarship award will support her travel to Mexico, where she will serve as a visiting sixth grade teacher in the community of La Paz, and at a special education classroom in Cabo San Lucas.

While earning her master's degree at Pacific, Lutsch traveled to Mexico in March 2010 as part of a collaborative pilot program. She was so inspired by the experience, she enrolled in the special education program at Pacific's College of Education campus in Eugene upon returning from the trip.

She said this subsequent trip will give her the opportunity to learn more about special needs students' cultural backgrounds, and how optimal classroom planning must adapt to those cultures.

Terrell is pursuing a doctorate of clinical psychology with an emphasis on child and adolescent psychology in the Latino/Bilingual population. The Hopkins-Powell scholarship award will support a learning experience in Nicaragua that will focus on treating abused and orphaned girls.

Terrell intends to gain experience and knowledge in the area of childhood trauma within the Latino community. She is currently enrolled in Pacific's innovative healthcare Spanish courses and believes this experience will fortify her classroom studies.

Upon graduation, Terrell intends to pursue a career working with Latino children and adolescents in her home state of Florida.

Smith expects to graduate next year from the physician assistant studies program with an emphasis in rural care. His scholarship award is supporting a six-week practitioner rotation in the developing country of Kenya, where he is working through the Ray of Hope Foundation's humanitarian effort. The opportunity will allow Smith to refine his history-taking and physical examination skills in a setting where diagnostic services are minimal.

He looks forward to the cultural immersion aspect as he will live with host families. Following graduation, Smith plans to work in a rural clinic to treat underserved populations. His career pursuit was borne partially by his own childhood in which he grew up in a rural setting without convenient access to medical care.

Hopkins-Powell, currently the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Pacific, served as Vice Provost and Executive Dean of the College of Health Professions from 2005-10.

During that time, the College established its Health Professions Campus in Hillsboro, a highly-successful Interprofessional Course and an Interprofessional Diabetes Clinic. Her leadership resulted in the expansion of the College's services to meet the needs of underserved communities, such as low-income Latino residents, in Washington County and Portland.

King himself enjoyed a distinguished career in healthcare, having served as chief executive officer for Legacy Health System (1991-99). He is currently a consultant and has served as a member of Pacific's Board of Trustees since 1999.

"Both John and Sara share a passion of service and for creating opportunities to bring healthcare to underserved populations worldwide," President Lesley Hallick said.

"We are thrilled to have his support, and even more pleased with such a fitting recognition of Sara's commitment to the mission of the College of Health Professions, and her unwavering support of programs to aid the underserved over the years."

Posted by Joe Lang ( on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Edited by Stephanie Haugen ( on May 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

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