2017 Named Scholarship Recipient


Susan Duguid is humbled to be selected as the Alice DeBoer Named Scholarship recipient for 2017. In response to being awarded a second CWEF scholarship and chosen as the fifth recipient of this named scholarship, she wrote, “Alice DeBoer’s life work and legacy are truly inspirational to me. As I read the CWEF Named Scholarship web page devoted to her, I realized what a great mentor she was to other women in many professional areas encouraging them at various stages of their careers. In my previous profession as a pediatric physical therapist, I enjoyed mentoring a small group of younger women new to Colorado. I appreciated guiding them to develop new skill sets and helping them apply these skills as they branched out in their careers. Personally, however, I have never really had a mentor to guide me or influence my career direction. I believe this is why I drifted so much in my past career, not clear where my talents and character traits would most benefit others.”

Susan is 60 years old and a single mother with nine-year-old twin daughters living in Westminster. She holds a Bachelor’s of Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. This is no small accomplishment considering Susan shares, “I was the first woman in my extended family, including female cousins to be allowed to go to university. My maternal and paternal grandmothers and my mother were forbidden to attend.” Susan is excited to be changing careers after years of working as a pediatric physical therapist and serving as the director of her private practice.

Susan is attending Front Range Community College (FRCC) earning her Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology (HIT) and plans to graduate in August 2018. The FRCC HIT Program Director, Karen Schmidt, writes in a letter of recommendation, “To change health care careers is very challenging in today’s health care environment and Susan is making an outstanding transition. She brings to the classroom discussions both her prior heath care industry understanding and her life experiences. I believe Susan will have a very successful career as a leader in the health information management profession.” Susan also works at a part time, work-study position in the Registrar’s Office of FRCC, which she loves. She enjoys being able to provide extra time and help to older students who are exasperated with navigating FRCC’s website.

Because of Susan’s amazing determination and achievements, she represented CWEF on a scholarship panel at its “A Turning Point: Educating Colorado Women” fundraising event in March 2017. Her story and experiences inspired the audience! It was certainly a part of what made her an outstanding choice to honor Alice DeBoer’s legacy.

Susan received some surprising and thrilling news during her fall 2017 semester. Her Alice DeBoer scholarship was matched and doubled by the FRCC Foundation as a result of new and innovative partnership with CWEF. This additional financial backing was truly a wonderful gift! Susan is also investigating post-graduate endorsements offered in the HIT profession, similar to Mrs. DeBoer pursuing endorsements and educational certificates in her career. Susan hopes to be nominated for a Nobel Prize in medical research someday!