Senior Airman Kathleen Cass, a nursing student at Western Connecticut State University, has received a scholarship from the Exchange Club of Danbury in recognition of her service with the U.S. Air Force on active duty in Alaska, Texas and Ohio.

 Cass, a Seymour resident currently in her second year of studies at WCSU, received the scholarship award at the Exchange Club of Danbury Veterans Day dinner on Nov. 12.

 The $2,000 grant for the 2015-16 academic year honors a full-time WCSU student who is a current member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces and maintains a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

Cass expressed gratitude to the Exchange Club for her recognition, and noted that her goal upon completion of her WCSU education is to return to Air Force duty as a commissioned second lieutenant. In the essay on “true patriotism” submitted with her scholarship application, she observed that service to the nation can take many forms to achieve the common goal of caring for neighbors and lifting up the community.

 “That sense drove me to nursing school,” she observed. “Nursing is an opportunity to continue my mission in patriotism, finding a niche to help my neighbors. One day I hope to go back to active duty as a commissioned nurse, but today I can help locally, from blood drives to hospitals. No matter where I am ‘stationed,’ I continue to serve because true patriotism is part of who I am.”

 Cass’s longest assignment during her active duty was with the Pacific Command deployment section in Alaska, where she worked 12-hour shifts for the largest food and facility program in the Air Force. “There were many long days,” she wrote in her essay. “Yet what makes a true patriot is knowing your work matters, enjoying the long days just for the fact that you are protecting the people you love.”

 Cass observed that her military training has provided a solid foundation for entering the nursing profession. “The military gave me a lot of responsibility at a young age, making just about everything else I face in life seem much easier,” she said.

 For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.