Meet Our 2021 SPS Scholarship Recipients!

Posted by SPS on Apr 28, 2021 2:30:02 PM

Scholarship Winner blog

Please join us in congratulating this year's SPS Student Scholarship Recipient's, Sophia Mancini and Jaime Purdie! Both students are enrolled in Eastern Michigan's Master of Science in Prosthetics & Orthotics programs in Ypsilanti, Michigan. 

Sophia and Jaime’s essays and experience impressed the scholarship committee, and we think you’ll be impressed too. We had the privilege to chat with them about what sparked their interest in O&P and their plans for the future.


Scholarship Winner blog sophia-1



What sparked your interest in O&P?

While completing my Master’s in Biomechanics, I decided I wanted to find a way to apply what I was learning to a clinical setting. I started looking around online, found O&P, and was shadowing within the week. About 30 minutes into my first shadowing experience at Prevail Prosthetics & Orthotics, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was intrigued by the multi-dimensional nature of the job (seeing patients, being hands-on in the lab, traveling to facilities, etc.) and, above all, highly moved by the life-changing care the practitioners were providing for their patients.


What has been your favorite thing you learned about O&P so far?
One of my favorite things has been learning about fabrication. During my first shadowing experience, I was stunned that prosthetic and orthotic products were made right there in the office! Realizing how hands-on the O&P industry can be was a dream come true. I have enjoyed working with different practitioners and observing each one’s unique and creative fabrication methods.


What has been the most challenging thing to learn or understand about O&P?

Based on my shadowing experience, I think one of the most challenging things so far has been keeping up with technology advancements occurring in the field. I’m most excited to see where things like 3-D printing, computer simulations, and gait analysis technology can take this field!


When thinking about your career in O&P, what are you most excited about?

I am most excited to be able to share life-changing moments with patients. Mobility is so essential for both mental and physical health. Being able to help someone get moving again seems like the most rewarding job in the world.




Scholarship Winner blog jaime


What sparked your interest in O&P?

My original interested in O&P was discovered in college while observing at an orthopedic clinic. During the first appointment of my first day, I had the privilege of watching a patient take his first steps after a complicated amputation. I watched as he teared up, admitting he thought he would never be able to walk again. After that moment I was sold. I knew that I wanted to be capable of giving mobility and independence back to patients. 

What has been your favorite thing you learned about O&P so far?

Thus far, my favorite aspect of O&P has been connecting the biomechanical, technical pieces of my education to patient cases. As a first-year student, I worked to form a strong foundation in lab skills and understand the human body's kinetics and kinematics. In clinical rotations, I have worked with patient models, and discussed case studies, and learned about the foundations of patient pathologies and presentations. I have enjoyed witnessing the creativity and deep understanding required to provide O&P care to patients effectively.


What has been the most challenging thing to learn or understand about O&P?

Patients are often complicated and require deep knowledge and thoughtfulness to be effectively cared for. I find that understanding which specific design principles or modifications are most appropriate for each patient is a challenging aspect of the O&P industry. 


When thinking about your career in O&P, what are you most excited about?

I am most excited about working with patients and continuing to grow as an O&P practitioner. I look forward to being kept on my toes by new technology and ideas throughout my career.


Be on the lookout for our new SPS Student Tech Scholarship, launching this June!

Click below to learn more about our SPS Student Scholarship programs.

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Topics: O&P Industry, Scholarship

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