Special Occasion

Vincent Messina Memorial Scholarship Awards Expanded

Members and friends of the Vincent Messina family gathered after the 2019 graduation ceremony of the UPMC Chautauqua School of Radiology to award scholarships in memory of Vincent Messina, who was a member of the first graduating class 50-years ago. Shown, from left are Dick Tyler, Martin Messina, recipients Alexander James Putt and Britta Johnson, Kathy Messina and Cindy Tyler. The scholarship are awards from the Vincent Messina Memorial Scholarship fund at WCA Foundation. Submitted photo

Serving as ushers at the 2019 graduation for the UPMC Chautauqua School of Radiology, it was with surprise that Britta Johnson and Alexander James “AJ” Putt were called forward before the ceremonies concluded by Martin Messina.

Johnson and Putt each received a $2,000 tuition assistance scholarship award from Kathy Messina, her family and friends in honor of the late Vince Messina, a senior staff radiologic /CT scan technologist. For the fifth time the Vincent Messina Memorial Scholarship was given to second-year students of the hospital’s 22-month School of Radiology, but this year the family chose to increase their giving and expand to two awards for a total of $4,000.

“This has always been my goal for the scholarship,” Kathy Messina said. “I want to give sizable scholarships to the students in their second year of studies at the school. It is a time in their schooling when having a job isn’t an easy option. As second-year students, they continue their studies by participating in the clinical portion of their education. It’s about perfecting what they have learned in the classroom.

“My husband Vince was in the first graduating class of the Radiology School – 50 years ago. My family and I used this special occasion to expand our scholarships by giving two. This is all made possible by the community’s support of the golf tournaments we have held for the last five years in Vince’s memory and our fund’s growth at WCA Foundation. We are planning more fundraising efforts next year,” Ms. Messina shared.

Johnson and Putt will be part of the graduating Class of 2020 after successful completion of the curriculum of the UPMC Chautauqua School of Radiology. Johnson received an individual studies degree from Jamestown Community College in 2016.

Putt will achieve a degree from JCC upon completion of his studies at the School of Radiology.

“WCA Foundation’s staff and board of directors are very grateful to Kathy, her family and friends for the terrific fundraising they have done since creating the fund in memory of Vince,” said Brigetta Overcash, executive director of the foundation.

“We are grateful to the community that has supported them and WCA Foundation. Vince had an almost 30-year career worked at our hospital through his passion for radiology. In his leadership roles nothing gave him greater joy than to help the students of the School of Radiology. His dedication to the hospital, its school and his expertise made him a requested colleague by many physicians.”

For more information about WCA Foundation and the Vincent Messina Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact Overcash at 664-5461 or Overcashbe@upmc.edu, Megan Barone, director of development, at 664-8423 or Baroneme3@upmc.edu or online at wcafoundationjamestown.org.

Donations can be made online or by mail to WCA Foundation, P.O. Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702-0840.