November 27, 2007

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The International SPA Association Foundation has taken a significant step forward in educating future spa industry leaders. For the first time, students may now submit an application for consideration for the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship.

The scholarship 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 be able to provide this scholarship in Mary Tabacchi’s name,” said ISPA Foundation President Edwin Neill III. “This scholarship will help those who want to become part of the spa community which, in turn, will help us fulfill our ultimate goal of furthering the industry through education and research.”

Dr. Tabacchi added, “The International SPA Association and ISPA Foundation have inspired thousands of committed, caring business people who have helped create today’s prosperous, health-oriented spa community. Tomorrow’s leaders are today’s dynamic, passionate and educated young students. It is the privilege, indeed the obligation of ISPA, the Foundation and its industry partners to foster the evolution of that next generation. The future of the spa community belongs to and depends upon these students. It is my pleasure to have been a small part of passing the torch to those who will determine a bright and optimistic future.”

To be announced in May 2008, the scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 towards their education, as well as registration, airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the 2008 ISPA Conference & Expo. The scholarship is one part of the newly-established endowment fund that was created to provide a permanent resource for the growth and sustainability of the spa industry.

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 that describes 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 their 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).
  5. submit application, two references and college transcripts no later than March 3, 2008. Applications received after that date will not be considered.

Donations to the scholarship and the endowment fund may be contributed by visiting the shopping cart at Anyone who makes a donation of $50 to the Foundation will become a Friend of the Foundation for one year. Donations of $500 or more made between Nov. 1, 2007-Nov. 30, 2008 will place contributors in the ISPA Foundation Charter Club.

For more information on the endowment fund, the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship or the ISPA Foundation, please visit ISPA’s Web site at

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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