Meet the 2020 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Will C.

Graduate Recipient

"What do you believe is the greatest unaddressed patient need in the CF community, and if you could, how would you try to fix it? Who would you partner with (e.g. public figure, organization) to help fix the issue and why?"

As a CF patient, I have long been frustrated by the lack of discussion and support for patients who struggle with mental illness. CF patients suffer from mental illness for many different reasons: the emotional burden of knowing we have a short life expectancy, keeping up with our many treatments, and starting a family while having a terminal illness. While being involved in family advisory meetings and speaking with CF center directors, I have expressed my viewpoint that mental illness in CF patients needs to be more of a focus. Specifically, I have stated that we need to support our center’s social workers with proper training and education, fund research on exactly why it is that CF patients have a higher prevalence of mental illness, and most of all, cultivate a sense of support in our CF centers as to not allow the topic of mental illness to be taboo. In order to act and take action on mental illness more of a focus I would partner with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), as I understand they are the largest and most respected organization focused on mental health. I believe the NIH would be able to support the CF Foundation and our CF centers with the proper tools we need to combat mental illness among patients. It is crucial that we act to understand and battle against mental illness among CF patients because as we all know, mental and physical health are closely intertwined.



  • University of Vermont Dean's List Spring 2018 and Fall 2018
  • Ian Worley Award recipient from University of Vermont's Environmental Program in Spring 2018, awarded for conducting innovative research
  • Member of the Gamma Theta Upsilon Geography Honor Society, inducted Fall 2018
  • Awarded the 2019 Outstanding Environmental Studies Senior Award in College of Arts and Sciences
  • Presented two research posters for UVM’s 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference, ‘A Global View On Local Perceptions Of Big Cats’ and ‘Exploring the Indirect Mental Health Impacts of Cyanobacteria Blooms in St. Albans Bay’
  • 2019 Gormley Award recipient, awarded to the most active and deserving senior yearly by University of Vermont Student Government
  • Recipient of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 2019 Rose Ball Award, given annually to an honoree who has supported the mission of the CFF by volunteering and engaging with the CF community
  • Grant Writer Intern - American Red Cross (November 2019-February 2020)
  • Chair, Committee on the Environment - University of Vermont Student Government (April 2016-April 2019)
  • President, Boulder Society - University of Vermont Men's Honor Society (oldest honor society of its kind in the United States)