Many students, faculty, staff and volunteers receive scholarships and awards each year for their outstanding achievements at the annual RCPD Awards and Appreciation Reception. Scholarship applications and award nominations are welcomed throughout the year, but strongly encouraged between December and February. Visit the Award Recipients page to view past and present award recipients.

Students and the community at large are encouraged to help us recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement through nominations for any of our faculty/staff, student and alumni awards. Students and faculty are encouraged to nominate individuals who have made a difference in making MSU a more inclusive place for them.

The RCPD would like to extend a thanks to all donors and partners for their financial investments in helping students excel in academics and explore new opportunities. 


Samaritan Scholar Award

  • Educational support for sophomores, juniors or seniors
  • Five students will receive $3,500 each
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and demonstrate financial need
  • Meet the 2017 Samaritan Scholarship recipient here

Robert L. Decker & Benjamin Muns Friendship Memorial Scholarship

  • Provides graduate study opportunities for qualified students during the fall, spring, or summer semester
  • Two or more scholarships up to $5,000 awarded annually
  • Recipients must demonstrate professional and academic achievements, financial need, and writing competence
  • Meet the 2017 Decker and Muns Scholarship recipient here

Katrina Tagget Fellowship

  • In memory of past RCPD mentor Katrina Tagget
  • At least $3,500 awarded to students with learning disabilities who are academically and service-oriented
  • Meet the 2017 Tagget Fellow here

Anita Giampalmi Scholarship

  • Monetary reward and recognition of student with cystic fibrosis
  • One award of about $2,500
  • Recipients should display academic achievement and goals, leadership ability, and strong writing skills
  • Meet the 2017 Giampalmi Scholarship recipient here

Shawn M. Koch Memorial Scholarship

  • In memory of MSU Alumnus, Shawn M. Koch
  • Award size is based on endowment performance with anticipation for at least $1,500
  • Applicants shall demonstrate financial need with priority given to MSU students whose lives have been directly impacted by cancer, either personally or through a family member or friend
  • Meet the 2017 Koch Memorial Scholarship recipient here

Tower Guard Scholarship

Awarded annually to a member of Tower Guard for outstanding achievement and service

Education Abroad Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

  • $2,000 awards for students with disabilities enrolled in an MSU credit-granting study abroad program
  • Priority is given to applicants who have been approved to participate in the Disability in a Diverse Society program
  • Meet the 2017 Study Abroad Scholarship recipient here

Partnered Scholarships

The RCPD is pleased to partner with MSU programs and colleges to offer disability-related scholarships thus extending partnerships in support of academic excellence

Victor Troubalos Scholarship

  • In memory of Dr. Stephen Troubalos's son, Victor Troubalos.
  • Awarded annually to students reaching academic success, despite disability.
  • To become eligible, students must complete the STATE program.

Trent Pysarchik Internship Endowment

  • In memory of MSU student Trent Pysarchik
  • Awarded annually beginning in 2020, this endowment will generally produce scholarships in excess of $2000

Spirit of Ability Award

  • Commemorates the empowering heritage of founders who saw beyond disabilities including May Shaw, Judy Gentile, James Hamilton, Dorothy Milbrook, and James Bristor
  • Students and faculty are encouraged to nominate faculty and staff around campus who have made a positive difference in their time at MSU

Student Leadership and Service Award

  • Recognizes outstanding leadership of students and organizations within the RCPD and broader community
  • This award was created in honor of Jack Shingleton and Marge Chmielewski, mentors and friends to many at RCPD

Outstanding Alumnus Award

The Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes the accomplishments, leadership and dedication of MSU graduates who make significant contributions to their field

In 2015, RCPD streamlined our awards to reinvent and reconnect with foundational leaders in a way that celebrates the passion and dedication of current vivid leaders making MSU a more accessible and inclusive place. We would like to thank the 2015 recipients for their commitment to RCPD and our mission.

The following list commemorates the vision and contributions of those who were recipients of past awards prior to 2015 - we are grateful for their legacy of service. 

  • Judy K. Gentile Award
  • James B. Hamilton Award
  • Dorothy Millbrook Staff Award
  • Marge Chmielewski Volunteer Award
  • RCPD Award
  • Student Leadership Award