Katie Poindexter Receives Alpha Sigma Lambda National Scholarship

July 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – Katie Poindexter, a nursing student in the Mary Black School of Nursing at the University of South Carolina Upstate Greenville Campus, recently received one of eight national scholarships from Alpha Sigma Lambda to honor superior scholarship and leadership of adult students. Poindexter received the Dr. William C. Hine Scholarship for $1,600 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is a national honor society established in 1946 to recognize the special achievements of nontraditional adult students who accomplish academic excellence while managing the demands of family, work, and community. It is the oldest and the largest honor society for full-time and part-time adult students with more than 300 chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States. USC Upstate established the Sigma Chi Upsilon Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda in 2005.

Poindexter is an extraordinary student maintaining a 3.9 GPA and is extremely active in the nursing program. She serves as the director of nursing image for the Student Nurses Association (SNA), the student representative on Mary Black School of Nursing Strategic Plan Performance (SPP) Committee, and the vice president of the Student Nurses Association (SNA). Poindexter was inducted into the Mu Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. 

When Poindexter was inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda at USC Upstate, she gave an unforgettable presentation about how she realized that even an undergraduate student she could make a difference. As she has a child with special needs, she spoke about her personal campaign to stop the use of the “r” work, often used to describe those with mental disabilities. All who heard her presentation left with a greater sensitivity about the damage that such words can do.

In the community, Poindexter is a volunteer and staff member with the Family Connection of South Carolina, which is a non-profit parent-to-parent organization that assists families who have children with special needs. In that role, she shares her knowledge and experiences about her son with other families and directs them to both local and state resources. She encourages parents to be the best advocate they could be for their child. She has been a speaker for the past two years at the annual conference of the Family Connection of South Carolina.

Poindexter volunteers with the Down Syndrome Family Alliance of Greenville. She assists with planning of the yearly Buddy Walk, social and educational events, and updating their website.

In the personal essay required for the scholarship Poindexter says the following, “I know when I am tired, when I do not want to look at another textbook, or write another assessment, I look at my son, I think about the families I have helped and will help, and I feel this drive to push myself to the fullest. I may be only one person, but I have learned that only one person is needed to affect the life of another.”

Dr. Judith S. Prince, Chapter Councilor for Alpha Sigma Lambda at USC Upstate, says that Katie Poindexter is representative of the outstanding adult students who are returning to USC Upstate to earn degrees in order to maximize their contributions to society. “Not only is she making a difference in her family and her community, she is making a difference among fellow students and faculty at USC Upstate.”