January 9, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The International SPA Association Foundation is proud to announce that students may begin submitting applications for the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. The scholarship, created in 2006, is named in honor of industry pioneer and Cornell University Associate Professor Mary H. Tabacchi, Ph.D., R.D.

“The ISPA Foundation is proud to once again provide an opportunity to further the spa career of a worthy student,” said ISPA Foundation President Edwin Neill III. “With the scholarship and newly released textbook ‘SPA: A Comprehensive Introduction,’ as viable resources, we are helping to grow the next generation of industry leaders.”

Dr. Tabacchi added, “The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage young qualified four-year graduates of business and hospitality schools or MBAs to join the wonderful profession of spa development. Leadership, passion, dedication, commitment and strong business skills are important attributes for ISPA to foster. I believe that this scholarship is crucial for the future of the spa industry. Leadership comes in many forms, from thought leaders, elected officers, CEOs, spa directors, entrepreneurs and strong creative endeavors. We hope that we can select from hundreds of qualified, passionate applicants. The scholarship is one of ISPA’s most important endeavors.”

To be announced in May 2009, the scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 towards their education, as well as registration, airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the 2009 ISPA Conference & Expo.

Students may access the application at A selection committee will review the applications based on the following criteria:

Students must be enrolled:

  • 1. part- or full-time, in a two- or four-year spa-related program, with a demonstrated interest or emphasis in spa management;
  • 2. with a minimum of one year completed at a post-secondary educational institution.

Applicants must:

  • 1. have a minimum GPA (or international equivalent) of 2.75;
  • 2. complete a scholarship application, which includes an essay section describing their skills and qualifications, as well as personal and professional goals;
  • 3. submit at least two references, one of which must be from their school advisor, indicating enrollment status, year in school and emphasis in spa management;
  • 4. submit original college transcripts that include evidence of courses taken and GPA (or international equivalent).

For more information regarding the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship, or to make a donation to the scholarship fund please visit

About the ISPA Foundation

The ISPA Foundation is the nonprofit 501(c) 3 arm of ISPA and was created in 1999 to serve the educational and research needs of the spa industry. The ISPA Foundation’s mission is to improve and enhance the value of the spa experience; its vision is to advance spa culture to sustain health and well-being. The ISPA Foundation’s objectives include being the educational source for the spa industry, establishing definitive research that validates spa industry related topics and creating an endowment that sustains the ISPA Foundation in perpetuity.

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