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Foundation awards scholarship to nursing student

Posted on 05/25/2016 11:32 AM

Melissa Blackwell, a student at Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI, would like to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. (Nicolet College Photo)
Melissa Blackwell, a student at Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI, would like to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. (Nicolet College Photo)

As Melissa Blackwell pursues her dream of becoming a nurse, she thinks about how she wants to help save infants who face great obstacles when they’re born. When she was growing up, she learned that a relative gave birth to a son, with no signs of illness, who died after only living one day.

“After hearing this story, I knew I wanted to do something that would help other babies like him,” she said. “I know it won’t be easy, and at times it will be emotional, but it will be a rewarding experience, and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Scholarship honors Greg Gourdoux

Nicolet College Foundation recently awarded Blackwell the Greg Gourdoux Memorial Endowed Scholarship, funded, in part, by MSA Professional Services, Rhinelander. 

Gourdoux, an MSA land surveyor pictured at right, was killed in a work-related accident 22 years ago and the scholarship was established in his memory in 1995.

After high school, Gourdoux earned a degree from Nicolet College, Rhinelander, and then started working at MSA’s Beaver Dam office.

Blackwell pursing Associates Degree

Blackwell, a Rhinelander High School (RHS) graduate, is working on her Associates Degree in Nursing at Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI. 
After completing her degree at Nicolet, she will transfer to a school in the University of Wisconsin system where she will seek a Bachelor’s degree. Her dream is to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

While at Nicolet, Blackwell earned recognition on the Dean’s List for all four semesters and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. 

She is currently in her sixth year as a member of the Hodag Water Shows in Rhinelander and has served on the team’s board of directors.

Since its creation, Nicolet College Foundation Executive Director Heather Schallock reported that the Gourdoux scholarship has been awarded to 12 individuals.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Greg Gourdoux Memorial Scholarship may be made out to the Nicolet College Foundation and sent to Lisa Scholz, MSA Professional Services, 201 Corporate Drive, Beaver Dam, WI 53916. 

Donations also may be made on line by visiting the Nicolet College Foundation website. Click on the Donate Now button on the right side of the page and indicate that your donation is being given in memory of Greg Gourdoux.

Scholarship Information

For information about the scholarship, contact Schallock at or at (715) 365-4518.

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