Female student in graduation cap smiling
By Roanoke College News

Valedictorian earns national scholarship

After earning a spot as one of Roanoke’s Class of 2020 valedictorians, Kyle Elizabeth Grohbrugge ‘20 has been awarded a scholarship that will help her pursue her doctoral degree in physical therapy.

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, awarded Grohbrugge a $1,000 scholarship to help her pursue her post-graduate education. This year, 164 students applied for scholarships, and just 35 were selected, according to an ODK news release.

Grohbrugge, originally from Grantham, New Hampshire, majored in health and exercise science, and minored in public health. She shared valedictorian honors with Katie Hefele ‘20 and Ben Vester ‘20. She just finished her first semester at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, where she is working on a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.The second semester starts at the beginning of September.

“This ODK scholarship is going toward my Doctor of Physical Therapy education, which is why it is important to me,” Grohbrugge said. “Another two and a half years of school is expensive, and scholarships like this one help to offset some of the costs.”

“Becoming a physical therapist will give me the opportunity to help others live the life they want to live.”

Kyle Grohbrugge '20

Grohbrugge was involved with ODK while she was at Roanoke, and in the College’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (a national service fraternity), and the College’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta (the national health pre-professional honor society).

“Becoming a physical therapist will give me the opportunity to help others live the life they want to live,” Grohbrugge said. “I am looking forward to advocating for my patients and helping them achieve the quality of life they need to succeed.”

Dr. Melanie Trexler, assistant professor of religion and philosophy, said Grohbrugge played a pivotal role in ODK at Roanoke. She showed initiative and proved to be a “vivacious, energetic student,” Trexler said. Trexler wrote a formal nomination for Grohbrugge, in which she detailed Grohbrugge’s leadership skills and her will to help others.

The University of Colorado’s “opportunities for volunteering in free clinics in the area attracted her to the program, as she intends to use her degree to help underserved populations access health care, particularly physical therapy, in the future,” Trexler wrote. “I have no doubt that she will play leadership roles with her fellow students as they determine ways to best serve these clinics during her time in graduate school.”