South Texas College student Gerard A. Obnial was selected to receive the coveted 2012 Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship. Obnial is one of only 20 students from around the nation to be named a scholarship recipient.
The scholarship, presented by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, recognizes outstanding academic and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in regionally accredited community college programs including registered nursing, respiratory care or emergency medical services.
Obnial was born and raised in the Philippines where he received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Santo Thomas in 2010. He has lived in the Rio Grande Valley for two years and is studying respiratory therapy at South Texas College while volunteering at Rio Grande Regional Hospital.
“I decided to go into the medical field because I want to help people,” he explained. “There are a lot of people who develop lung diseases. If you learn more about it, you can help prevent it. Through the respiratory therapy program, we go to schools and educate students about diseases and the risks of smoking. Ultimately, I want to become a doctor and work in medical missions.”
Obnial will attend the 2013 Annual Lanza Scholar Convention in San Jose, Calif. that will be held from April 4 to 6, and he will be presented with a $2,500 scholarship and a commemorative certificate.
The Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of Frank Lanza, founder of L-3 Communications, a global aerospace and defense company recognized as the nation’s sixth largest defense contractor.
In honor of Frank Lanza’s business leadership and chartable commitment, CAE Healthcare founder Lou Oberndorf initiated the scholarship endowment which is funded by L-3 Communications, CAE Healthcare, the American Association of Community Colleges, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.