Henry Welch Scholarship in Aging

The Henry W. Welch Scholarship in Aging honors one of the Colorado Gerontological Society founders, whose commitment and dedication to the field of aging and human services spanned more than forty years. Dr. Welch was a forerunner and pioneer in the field of aging. He served as the first treasurer of The Society, helped to write the articles of incorporation and the by-laws, and providing parliamentarian support. For most of his career, Dr. Welch served the Denver community and Colorado, at the Metropolitan Council for Community Services, which is now the planning division of Mile High United Way. He excelled at community organization. Dr. Welch helped to found the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Denver in 1977 with support from the Administration on Aging. The Scholarship Fund was established to continue his vision of educating professionals in the field of aging.

This scholarship is designed to encourage academic studies in the field of aging, including gerontology, social work, public policy or various medical fields with emphasis in aging such as geriatrics, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology or nursing. Applicants from other fields are welcome to apply, but should have a focus or concentration on working with or for the elderly. Each award is for $1000 per academic year. Applicants must be full-time matriculated students at an accredited Colorado college or university.

Applicants must complete a two-page essay in addition to the application addressing your ability to work with the elderly emphasizing your (1) previous experience with geriatrics/gerontology; (2) leadership qualities including initiative, organizational skills, and ability to influence others; (3) your ability to meet people and your interest in working with the elderly; (4) your current or previous involvement in school, community, churches or other venues where you interact with the elderly; and (5) your plans for the future including specific involvement with geriatrics/gerontology, and working with the elderly.

Awardees will be notified by telephone and mail contact. Awardees are expected to attend the 38th Annual Meeting of the Colorado Gerontological Society to receive the scholarship award. The Annual Meeting will be held on December 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Applications for scholarship for calendar year 2018 are now open. Applications are due by November 15, 2017 5:00 PM Mountain Time.

Apply Online!

Shanna Maldonado
Denver, CO
University of Denver
The Colorado Women’s College
Daniels College of Business
Expected Graduation 2018

Shanna is a first generation college student in her family pursuing a degree in Business with a certificate in IT (Business Analysis Projects) and Communications. She works as a Care Manager at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital and is currently pursuing her degree through The Denver Women’s College at the University of Denver.

At Saint Joseph Hospital she is involved with the recently opened Geriatric Emergency Department. She is involved with education; in-services; and safer discharges for home care, skilled nursing facilities, long term care placements, long term acute care hospital placements and hospices.

Most recently she has been involved as a Care Manager, not only identifying the aspects of a “senior friendly Emergency Room”, but also the outcomes of providing person-centered care to patients such as taking time to talk, answering simple questions, and taking time to meet the patient at their point of illness and need. Her most recent innovation has been to have hospital volunteers sit with and listen to patients in the Emergency Room. This intervention has shown a decrease in admissions to the inpatient hospital setting. She is also studying Spanish to better help patients who are bi-lingual.

The Society is pleased to grant a $1000 scholarship to Shanna Maldonado, a second time winner of the Henry Welch Scholarship, to support her continued studies in Business and Gerontology with a planned graduation in 2018.


Erin McGavin
Arvada, CO
University of Northern Colorado
Master of Arts in Gerontology
Expected Graduation May 2018

Erin began volunteering at the Transitional Care Unit at Exempla Lutheran Hospital in 2009 at age 17. It was at that time that her passion for working with elders was born. She has continued her study and work with elders while obtaining her bachelor’s degree.

In 2016, Erin earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Care with a minor in gerontology, health and wellness. She is a Senior Fitness Instructor.

She has interned as a companion with Silver Keys, a senior center in Colorado Springs, with The Senior Olympic Games, and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Center of Active Living.

She was active in the Gerontology Club at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs with a special focus on gerontology and exercise.

Erin attributes her interest in Gerontology to listening to patients, giving the new admissions individualized attention to ease their transition to the new environment, and listening to their personal stories. She feels that genuine interest and an open heart are at the basis of gaining an elders’ trust.

The Colorado Gerontological Society is pleased to award a $1000 Henry Welch Scholarship to Erin McGavin to continue her studies in gerontology with an expected graduation date of May 2018.