Recreation Therapy Student Wins $500 Scholarship from MOAA

12/21 – Recreation Therapy student Aron Lanie was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). 

MOAA is an independent, nonprofit organization that plays an active role in military personnel matters and especially proposed legislation affecting the career force, the retired community and veterans of the uniformed services.

MOAA-Scholarship-WEB.jpg“I am so honored to receive this scholarship from MOAA,” Lanie said. “It is very satisfying to have my hard work and academic success recognized by an organization that does so much to support all military personnel. After my recreation therapy internship at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this spring, I hope to continue to support military personnel and veterans in my career as a recreation therapist.”

At her internship, Lanie will work with active-duty military who are going through the intensive outpatient behavioral health and physical rehabilitation programs. The programs use recreation as therapy and may include things like aquatics; relaxation and mindfulness programs; psycho education; adaptive sports; expressive arts; outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking,  fly fishing and more.

For years, Lanie has worked as a certified yoga instructor and is an Army veteran and an officer for the UNCW Association of Student Veterans. “Taking initiative and performing at a high level comes naturally to Aron and is an example of her military assets as well,” Recreation Therapy Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Brent Hawkins said.

The MOAA scholarships are part of the Veteran Education Assistance Grants provided by the local MOAA Chapter. Members locally contribute to the scholarship fund and ensure that veteran students are selected based on GPA and demonstrated need.

“It’s very comforting to know that the local Chapter provides these funds directly from donations from its members and their charge to continue to assist local student veterans in their pursuit of education,” Director of the Office of Military Affairs, Bill Kawczynski said.

Each year MOAA’s local chapter, SENCLAND, provides scholarships for local veteran students. UNCW has received these funds over the past five years. Kawczynski works with UNCW’s college deans to identify student veterans who have excelled over the past year to select scholarship recipients.