Senior Earns 2nd Annual McCaughey Scholarship

News Story: April 1, 2010
Victoria Gagliardi

Victoria Gagliardi of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, a senior in the Sacred Heart University Athletic Training program, is the recipient of the second annual Patrick McCaughey Scholarship. The scholarship is named for a program graduate and will provide funding for Gagliardi’s attendance at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s annual meeting and national symposium in Philadelphia this June.

The scholarship is open to students in the University’s Human Movement and Sports Science program, who plan to pursue a career as a certified athletic trainer. The annual grant is funded in memory of Patrick McCaughey, a member of the Class of 1997, who developed a specific career direction and real love for the athletic training profession in his senior year. McCaughey’s life enjoyed a dramatic turn around, both academically and personally, that year, as did Gagliardi’s.

From left are Sharon McCaughey (Patrick's mother), recipient Victoria Gagliardi and Timothy Speicher MS,ATC,CSCS, Human Movement and Sports Science program director and clinical associate professor.

“I’ve always been involved in athletics. I played softball and baseball from the time I could throw at about six years old, but I came to school not knowing what I wanted to do. Over the past year I decided I really want to make athletic training a part of my future,” Gagliardi said. McCaughey became a highly successful clinician. He later earned his master’s at the University of New Haven and became an athletic trainer at a high school in Milford. He was 31 at the time of his death, and the McCaughey Scholarship was established to celebrate his memory and to encourage other students to excel.

Julie Alexander, head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director at Sacred Heart, said she saw the same dedication evolve in Gagliardi, saying she followed a path similar to McCaughey’s.  Alexander said Gagliardi wasn’t quite sure what she intended to do with her athletic training degree until her senior year.

“I relate her very much to Patrick. This year Vicky developed a real direction and a passion for this profession. She is very deserving of this award,” Alexander said. “At the time of his passing in August 2007, Patrick was working at his dream job and he was great at it. Vicky will be great in this profession as well. I don’t think anything is going to stop her,” Alexander said.

“It means a lot that people think I have the potential to do good things,” Gagliardi said.