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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

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Stephen Trotta

Stephen Trotta

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Alumnus establishes scholarship in honor of family and freshman roommate


Passionate about education and helping students get a degree in physical therapy, Stephen Trotta created The Trotta, Haste and Schulman Physical Therapy Scholarship. The gift benefits physical therapy graduate students enrolled in or accepted for admission to Ohio University who pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

Trotta established the scholarship as a way to pay forward the financial help he received while getting his degrees at OHIO, he said. 

“As a student I benefitted from scholarships, which helped me get through school. I think it’s important to give back and help deserving students get an education.”  

Trotta graduated with his bachelor of science  in zoology in 1979 and continued on to earn his bachelor of science in physical therapy in 1986 and his master of science with an emphasis in health administration in 1991 from OHIO. He was a member of the inaugural class of students in the physical therapy program which started in 1984. 

Trotta named the scholarship in honor of some important people in his life: His wife Jennifer; parents, Louis and Janet Trotta; his aunt, Patricia Haste; and Chuck Schulman, his freshman year roommate.  

“I wanted to honor the people who did so much to help me get through physical therapy school. They have always been supportive and truthful and will always stick by me.” 

Trotta’s bond with Schulman was—and continues to be—particularly strong, he said. 

“Chuck was like the older brother I never had,” Trotta explained. “As I was entering physical therapy school, my wife and I lived close to the poverty line. Since I couldn’t work while at school, I did receive some financial aid, but Chuck helped to make up the difference.” 

Trotta is a physical therapist for the Ohio University Therapy Associates, housed in the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences. The clinic provides both physical therapy services and clinical education. The clinic provides both physical therapy services and clinical education. Ohio University Therapy Associates practice at various clinics in the region such as the Castrop Center, which is part of the O’Bleness Health System in Athens. The Associates provide physical therapy services at OHIO’s Campus Care and for student athletes.

“I want to do everything I can do to help, anything to make it easier for students to get through school,” Trotta said, illustrating how he is paying forward the help he received when he was a student. “I created this scholarship so students won’t have to work 20 hours a week and instead can focus on their education.” 

Trotta's gift is part of Ohio University's The Promise Lives Campaign, which seeks to raise $450 million by June 30, 2015, and already has secured more than $430 million toward its goal in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and select facilities at Ohio University. Learn more at www.ohio.edu/campaign.