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Cochlear Americas Announces 2011 Graeme Clark Scholarship Winners

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cochlear Americas, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, today announced the winners of the ninth annual Graeme Clark Scholarship awards. Five students have been selected to each receive up to $8,000 in financial assistance toward a degree at an accredited university, for a total of $40,000 in scholarship funds. Named for the inventor and pioneer of the cochlear implant, the program was established to honor Nucleus® Cochlear Implant recipients who are academically gifted and committed to leadership and humanity.

"This year's scholarship winners were selected from an inspirational pool of over 100 applicants from across the U.S. and Canada who have benefited through use of their cochlear implants," said Chris Smith, President, Cochlear Americas. "We would like to congratulate all of the scholarship recipients for their accomplishments and are pleased we can help support them with their academic goals and future dreams."

Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored at a recognition ceremony during Cochlear Celebration in Orlando, Florida on February 20, 2011. Attended by more than 1,200 people, Celebration is hosted by Cochlear Americas to provide Nucleus Cochlear Implant and Baha® recipients and their families the opportunity to learn and network in a fun and enchanting environment.

The scholarship winners being honored are:

  • Mark Burka (Fairfax, VA), a freshman at the University of Virginia studying accounting and economics. Burka was President of the National Honor Society as well as a member of his high school band, orchestra, and drumline.
  • Catherine Egeland (Birmingham, AL), a freshman at the University of Montevallo studying pre-med. Egeland was recognized in high school for her academic and artistic excellence, and named Youth Volunteer of the Year by the Birmingham YMCA.
  • Tyler McFarland (Westlake, OH), a freshman at Kalamazoo College studying economics and math. In addition to his academic excellence, McFarland is an accomplished swimmer, named to the Southeastern Swimming Hall of Fame and the US Deaf Swimming National Team.
  • Joseph Pelter (Garden City, NY), a freshman at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. taking exploratory courses. Pelter has a passion for speaking Italian, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at age 16 and has received recognition for his work with the homeless and disabled.
  • Christopher Boyer (Boston, MA), a freshman at Cornell University considering a major in English or Law. Boyer graduated from high school as a member of the National Honor Society, Latin Club and track team, while also carrying a 4.1 GPA.

Forty students have received the award since the program's inception in 2002. To be eligible, students must have a Nucleus Cochlear Implant and be entering their first year of college or enrolled in an accredited university or graduate program. Selection criteria include academic performance, letters of recommendation, awards and activities, and a short personal essay describing academic inspiration and other interests. For more information on this years' winners, visit:

About the Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship Foundation

The Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship Foundation was established in honor of Professor Graeme Clark, Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne, for his lifelong commitment to finding a solution for the hearing impaired and his pioneering work in the field of cochlear implant technology. Awarded by Cochlear Americas, this scholarship consists of financial assistance towards a college degree at an accredited university. The award is paid in yearly installments upon the completion of each year of study. Each award is in the amount of $2,000 per year for up to a total of four years. For more information, call 800/523-5798 (Voice or TDD) or visit

About Cochlear Celebration 2011

Cochlear Americas, the world's leader in advanced hearing technologies, brings together Nucleus Cochlear Implant recipients, Baha recipients and their families for the fourth Cochlear Celebration on February 17-20, 2011 in Orlando, FL. With over 500 recipients and their families expected to attend, this inspiring four-day event is the largest gathering of cochlear implant recipients in the world. Celebration 2011 offers educational sessions and a variety of activities designed to teach recipients and their families how to maximize the use of Nucleus Cochlear Implants and Baha technology.

About Cochlear Americas

Cochlear is the world leader in implantable hearing solutions. Since launching the first multichannel cochlear implant system more than 25 years ago, Cochlear Limited has brought the miracle of sound to more than 230,000 individuals with hearing loss across the globe. Cochlear offers industry leading hearing technology solutions which include Nucleus Cochlear Implants and the Baha System, an implantable bone-anchored hearing device. Both products are the number one choice in their category. For more information about Cochlear Americas' products, call 800/523-5798 (Voice or TDD) or visit

SOURCE Cochlear Americas
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