Senior wins national award for local health

Senior Colin O’Brochta was awarded the Lawrence A. Golding Scholarship through the American College of Sports Medicine for his contributions to local health.

O’Brochta, an exercise science major, currently leads Linfield’s Student Nutrition and Activity for Kids program (SNACK), which was started several years ago and works in conjunction with the Physicians Medical Center in McMinnville.

The Lawrence A. Golding Scholarship is awarded by the ACSM to two undergraduate students nationally who have made significant contributions to their community’s health, fitness and education. O’Brochta applied for a similar scholarship last year but did not win.

This was his second time applying for a scholarship through the ACSM and this time his persistence and hard work paid off.

“I think that applying for this scholarship, even though I did not win it last year, was a good lesson for me and anyone who is interested in advancing in their field of study to stay persistent,” O’Brochta said.

The set-back also taught O’Braochta to have confidence in his skills and abilities even if set-backs and disappointments did sometimes get in the way.

O’Brochta worked with previous SNACK coordinator Sara Peterson (class of 2013) this past summer in order to transition into leading the SNACK program. O’Brochta and other volunteers and physicians help counsel over-weight and obese children and their parents into achieving and maintaining healthy lifestyles.

“Last year I volunteered to help with the program’s activity sessions,” O’Brochta said. “I loved working with the kids so I decided to take on a leadership role to help expand and grow the program.”

Winning the scholarship has inspired O’Brochta to continue to try and make a difference in the lives of the people around him and his community.

He also expresses that being awarded with an honor of this caliber will continue to push him to strive more both academically and personally.

“It serves as a reminder that I really can do a lot to impact their lives with what I have learned from my time here at Linfield,” O’Brochta said.

The SNACK program without a doubt was a key factor in O’Brochta’s growth and success in the Exercise Science program.  O’Brochta admits that his success would have been limited without the help and the opportunities given to him from Linfield, specifically Janet Peterson– associate professor of health, human performance and athletics, and faculty fellow for academic advising–, the Physicians Medical Center, and all the students who volunteer with the SNACK program.

“The credit for any success from the SNACK program should really be given to the group of people who each do their part and as a whole make a difference in our community”  O’Brochta said.

O’Brochta will receive $1,000 this spring and complimentary registration to the 2014 ACSM Summit in Atlanta, Ga., in April to accept his award. A story about him will also appear in ACSM’S “Health and Fitness Journal.”


Camille Weber/Sports Columnist