News & Events

Backus Auxiliary gives $15K in scholarships

May 8, 2012

NORWICH – The William W. Backus Hospital Auxiliary donated $15,000 in scholarships to six local students at its annual membership tea today.  Each year, the tea coincides with National Hospital Week, celebrated May 6-12.

Each of the six applicants received $2,500 to help further their post-secondary education in a health-related field.

This year’s winners included:

Callie Bateman, a graduating senior at Ledyard High School, is a Backus volunteer who has accumulated more than over 260 hours.  She has job shadowed in many departments at the hospital and has most enjoyed emergency medicine.  She will attend the University of Virginia in September to begin her studies in Nursing.

Marissa Charles, a 2008 graduate of St. Bernard High School, will graduate from Assumption College this month with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.  Ms. Charles has also been selected to participate in an Accelerated Nursing Program at Johns Hopkins University in the fall.  She is the daughter of Claudette Faucher-Charles, a Critical Care Unit nurse at Backus.  Ms. Faucher-Charles received an Auxiliary scholarship in 2011.

Ryan Kalla, a graduating senior at Norwich Free Academy, ranks 25th in a class of 571 students.  He has volunteered at Backus for the past three years and has also served as a research assistant at Eastern Connecticut Hematology and Oncology.  Mr. Kalla has been granted early admission to Brown University where he hopes to pursue literature and medicine.

Khushbu Pandya, a 17-year-old senior at the New London Science/Tech Magnet School, is ranked fourth in a class of 200.  She lives in Norwich and is an active volunteer at Backus. Ms. Pandya will begin her college career at Connecticut College this fall and wants to become a cardiologist.  She is currently doing independent research involving gene sequencing and hopes to publish her findings.

Katie Pollard, a 2003 graduate of East Lyme High School, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Salve Regina College.  She is currently employed at Backus as the Emergency Department Clinical Educator.  A community activist and proud mother of a three-year-old daughter, Ms. Pollard is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nursing at Chamberlain College of Nursing.

(Yue) Jay Lin, a 2011 graduate from Norwich Free Academy, is finishing his freshman year at the University of Connecticut.  An honors student, he is majoring in molecular and cell biology and minoring in psychology.  A volunteer at Backus, Mr. Lin is committed to global health, which was reflected in a recent trip to Honduras to help set up free rural medical clinics.  In the fall he hopes to expand to a pre-med field.