WCU physical therapy student wins national scholarship

Karen Lunnen, head of the department of physical therapy at Western Carolina University, observes as graduate student Amanda Hayes works in a practice setting with Katie Moench.

Karen Lunnen, head of the department of physical therapy at Western Carolina University, observes as graduate student Amanda Hayes works in a practice setting with Katie Moench.

Amanda Hayes, a first-year student in Western Carolina University’s physical therapy program, is among eight recipients nationwide of a $1,000 scholarship from the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions.

Hayes, daughter of A.G. and Susan Hayes of Hendersonville, is a 1996 graduate of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. A resident of Asheville, she is married to Clete Fugate.

“We have some impressive students at Western Carolina, but Amanda is one of those who excel in all areas,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, dean of WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. “I am so pleased she has been recognized with this national honor, especially when you consider that the other winners are from much larger universities such as Kansas, Ohio State and Missouri. We truly are competing with ‘the big guys.’”

Hayes is a graduate of Warren Wilson College, where she received the President’s Volunteer Award for her service efforts.

Before enrolling in graduate studies at WCU, Hayes was employed by the American Lung Association of North Carolina as a regional development director. She helped the organization raise more than $80,000 and organized many community health awareness events.

Hayes continued her community volunteer efforts by working with the domestic violence organization Helpmate in Asheville, participating on a leadership team coordinating fundraising and work teams for the Durham School, and coaching girls participating in Girls on the Run, a nonprofit program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running.