On the 10th anniversary of this special award, Coast Guard personnel from Sector Sault Ste. Marie joined with Dr. Rodney Hanley, LSSU President, his wife Sara Gunhus-Hanley, and family members of Amy Ignatowski to present a scholarship award in her memory. Back row (left to right) Sara Gunhus-Hanley; Dr. Rodney Hanley, LSSU President; Amy’s father, Paul Ignatowski; Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gruschow, recipient’s father; Captain Patrick Nelson, Sector Commander; and Lieutenant Matthew McKenney, Sector Logistics Department Head. Front row (left) Amy’s grandmother, Mary Dykehouse; Amy’s mother, Robin Ignatowski; 2019 Amy Ignatowsk Memorial Award recipient, Megan Gruschow; and Chief Warrant Officer Rachael Leask, Administration Division Chief.
Lake Superior State University, officials from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, and members of a local family marked the 10th anniversary of the named fund’s creation with the presentation of the 2019 Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award.
This year’s recipient is LSSU senior Megan Gruschow, daughter of Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Gruschow, assigned to the Prevention Department at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. Megan is majoring in early education with a concentration in language arts. “I want to be an educator that impacts my students in a way that will help them strive for what they want to be in life. To live life to its fullest, you strive to be your absolute best and believe that every day can be better than the next and that there’s nothing that you can’t do!” Megan stated.
The memorial award fund assists Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie members and their families with the cost of attending LSSU. It was created by Paul and Robin Ignatowski, both of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, following the loss of their daughter, Amy, who was killed in May 2008 while serving with the Coast Guard in Corpus Christi, Texas.
With an outgoing personality, Amy Ignatowski wore a perpetual smile that could light up a room and loved to share her positive attitude. She attended LSSU just before joining the Coast Guard. She was attracted to the Coast Guard’s life-saving mission, and the members’ can-do attitude made the service a perfect fit for her.
“It’s an honor that Amy’s memory has grown into a cornerstone in the LSSU-Coast Guard partnership,” said Dr. Rodney Hanley, LSSU President. “Our commitment to working with the uniformed services goes back to our founding as a college branch in 1946 as millions of veterans went back to school on the G.I. Bill just after World War Two.”
Active Coast Guard members, reservists, and their dependents stationed at Sector Sault Ste. Marie are eligible for the Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award. Candidates may be accepted as students in any course of study at LSSU, with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Selection is based on a submitted essay that includes questions for the candidates to describe as in “What ways do you aim to self-improve? And what does it mean to live life?”
For information regarding the Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award or to support this special memorial award, contact Sharon Dorrity at (906) 635-2665 at the LSSU Foundation.
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