December 20, 2006

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The International SPA Association Foundation creates a scholarship named in honor of spa industry pioneer Cornell University Associate Professor Mary H. Tabacchi, Ph.D., R.D.

“$50,000 has already been raised and fundraising initiatives have just begun. The ISPA Foundation’s first scholarship encourages continued growth for the spa industry by helping prepare those who are entering this exciting career,” said ISPA Foundation President John Korpi. “Through Mary’s vision and passion as a spa industry academic pioneer, she has helped to develop a significant number of today’s leading spa professionals, as well as the leaders of tomorrow.”

Dr. Tabacchi began teaching at Cornell University in 1972. She has a Ph.D. in biochemical nutrition, biostatistics and is a well-respected author and researcher. She has published numerous papers and books on nutrition, spa and other related subjects and travels around the world speaking about the spa industry.

“Students are what makes us all tick – their creativity, their energy and ability to think outside of the box. Many of Cornell’s former students are now spa movers and shakers and will be the spa leaders of tomorrow,” said Tabacchi. “Who wouldn’t love the part of the hospitality industry that makes people well and happy, that helps people be the best they can be, that helps them achieve their dreams?”

The $1,500USD scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student who has completed at least one year of college and is seeking a spa-related degree with a demonstrated interest in spa management. The award recipient will also receive a complimentary registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the ISPA Conference & Expo or ISPA International Spa & Wellness Conference and Exhibition in Asia. Scholarship applications are expected to be available in 2007.

The Mary Tabacchi scholarship is just one example of how the ISPA Foundation is investing in the future of the industry. The scholarship is one part of the newly-established endowment fund, which was created to provide a permanent resource for the growth and sustainability of the spa industry. The fund is focused primarily on education and research. For more information on the endowment fund or the ISPA Foundation please visit ISPA’s Web site at Or, to contribute to the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship or endowment fund, please contact ISPA’s Director of Research and Development Stefanie Ashley at

About the ISPA Foundation

The ISPA Foundation is the 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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