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The Melissa Bell Meisenhelder Memorial Scholarship at RIT was established in the summer of 2004 only weeks after Melissa succumbed to a juvenile cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma on June 9, 2004. Melissa, daughter of Robert Meisenhelder and Janice Meisenhelder-Heyn, had finished her sophomore year at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and had just returned from visiting friends on Cape Cod. Although her mother and maternal grandparents are from Peekskill, NY (across the Hudson River from West Point), she had never been to RIT, or even to Rochester-the scholarship was set up by the faculty and staff of RIT. Robert Meisenhelder serves on the EE Department's Industrial Advisory Board and is a long time friend of RIT and an ardent supporter of electrical engineering education.
This award is intended to recognize an outstanding female student in electrical engineering who is courageous, compassionate, commited to excellence, and strong in faith as Melissa Meisenhelder was.
To be eligible, the student must be a full time female undergraduate student in electrical engineering with a second year standing. She must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and must be an outstanding member or the RIT community as evidenced by the letters of nomination provided by faculty members of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering Electrical Engineering department.