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Medical Scholarship Program Seeks Applicants from Indian Country

GENEVA, N.Y. - With collegiate education becoming ever more expensive,
students everywhere can always use a financial boost. Native high school
students with strong academics and an interest in medicine are encouraged
to apply for the Blackwell Medical Scholarship Program at Hobart and
William Smith Colleges.

For the student able to meet and maintain its rigorous standards, the
Blackwell Scholarship offers a guaranteed seat at the State University of
New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University College of Medicine in Syracuse,
N.Y. upon graduation from Hobart & William Smith.

"This nationwide scholarship represents a wonderful opportunity for
students interested in a medical career," said Dr. Joel T. Kerlan,
Professor Emeritus of Biology at the upstate New York School.

While the rewards of the Blackwell Scholarship are great, qualifying for
and maintaining that scholarship is a challenge. To qualify, applicants
must meet at least one of the following three criteria: The student must
hail from a rural background, must be from an underrepresented minority
group, or be the first generation of his or her family to attend college.

"Many Native American students would likely fit all three of these
categories," said Kerlan. The main purpose of these scholarships is to
educate physicians who would then return to their home communities to
provide health care, a factor that may also work in a Native student's

Further requirements include a minimum SAT score of 1,250 or equivalent
scores on the ACT, a grade point average in high school of at least 90 or
the equivalent on a 4.0 scale, and a "demonstrated commitment to a career
in medicine." Top applicants are required to travel to campus for an

Blackwell Medical Scholars receive a generous package that includes: a
full-tuition scholarship covering four years of attendance at Hobart and
William Smith Colleges; a computer; a guaranteed seat at SUNY Upstate
Medical University College of Medicine; and a waiver of the requirement to
take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Keeping this scholarship requires good grades. Scholars may not allow their
(GPA) to fall below 3.0 during any semester at Hobart & William Smith and
must at graduation have a GPA of at least 3.5 in their science courses.
Scholars must also complete an internship at Geneva General Hospital and
any other activities required by SUNY Upstate Medical University College of

"We're not setting the bar too high - the standards are pretty realistic,"
said Kerlan, adding that such a challenge should not deter the serious
student. "Remember, these students are leaders, they're the ones who want
to make a difference."

Blackwell Scholars also get a unique opportunity to meet with leaders in
health care. This year they've met professor Loretta Ford, founder of the
nurse practitioner profession, and Dr. Robert Gale, a leukemia and bone
narrow disorder expert who coordinated medical relief efforts for victims
of the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster.

The still-new program enrolled its first two students in September 2003 and
will add three more this fall.

While Hobart & William Smith currently has only a handful of Indian
students enrolled, Kerlan hopes the Blackwell Scholarship will attract many
Native applicants. Offering this scholarship to students from Indian
country "is a good thing to do," Kerlan stated, adding that the college
offers a wide range of resources to help all students make the transition
from high school to college.

The scholarship is named for the first certified woman physician in North
America, Elizabeth Blackwell, who graduated first in her class from Geneva
Medical College (now Hobart & William Smith) in 1849. In 1868 she founded
the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary, one of the first
medical schools for women.

For more information on the Blackwell Medical Scholarship Program, contact
the Office of Admissions, 629 South Main Street, Geneva, NY 14456, call
(800) 852-2256 or visit