ISPA Awards Student Scholarships

Mary Tabacchi Scholarship recipients Kelsey Brink from Hallstead, PA, and Margot Mangiarotti from Locust Valley, NYFor the third year in a row, the International Spa Association Foundation (ISPA) has awarded two recipients to receive the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. This year’s scholarship winners are Kelsey Brink from Hallstead, PA, and Margot Mangiarotti from Locust Valley, NY. Brink attends Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL, and will obtain a degree in resort and hospitality management in May 2017. She aspires to develop research that proves the positive effects of massage and the healing powers of touch. Mangiarotti attends Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and will obtain a degree in hotel administration in May 2017. She hopes to broaden the spa industry by making it more readily available to consumers. "Kelsey and Margot are both outstanding students and individuals dedicated to the spa industry,” says Frank Pitsikalis, chair of the ISPA Foundation. “They each bring different leadership strengths to the ISPA community. After working through a very thoughtful application and interview process, the ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship committee is honored to be able to recognize them for their achievements and encourage their future endeavors.”  

Founded in 1991, ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities and promoting the value of the spa experience. The ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship was created in 2006 and named in honor of Mary Tabacchi, Ph.D., RD, associate professor, hospitality facilities, and operations at Cornell University. "I am extremely grateful to be chosen as a Mary Tabacchi Scholarship recipient,” says Brink. “I am thankful to the scholarship selection committee and the ISPA community for this incredible opportunity, as well as my previous educators, mentors, and especially to my family for inspiring me and supporting all of my big dreams." 

Brink and Mangiarotti will each be awarded $5,000 to go toward education expenses. They will also receive a travel stipend and hotel accommodations to attend the 2016 ISPA Conference & Expo, a one-year ISPA student membership, and will be assigned a one-year mentor to help navigate their career aspirations. “I am incredibly honored to have received the 2016 ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship,” says Mangiarotti. “Since the fall of my freshman year I have focused my efforts on studying the spa and wellness industry and the ideals it represents. I cannot wait to attend the ISPA Conference in September alongside such exceptional industry leaders as well as receive a mentor and the financial award that will go toward my valued education.” Both Brink and Mangiarotti will be honored on stage during the general session at the annual ISPA Conference & Expo at The Venetian in Las Vegas on September 13 to 15, 2016. For more information about attending the 2016 ISPA Conference & Expo, please visit


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