Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow

The ISPA Foundation strives to make a difference in providing a healing hand in today's stressful world. Through initiatives such as the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship, the ISPA Foundation works to build a foundation toward developing professionals who will make the world a healthier place to live.  

Mary Tabacchi Scholarship

Central to our investment in the future is the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. With the help of the ISPA Foundation, through a wealth of donations, students interested in pursuing a career in spa management will be able to achieve their dreams. It is the ISPA Foundation's hope that students touched by these scholarships will not only provide comfort and care to people who need it but serve as inspirations to others to join the spa profession.

This scholarship was created in 2006 and named in honor of Mary Tabacchi, Ph.D., RD, Associate Professor, Hospitality Facilities and Operations at Cornell University. Dr. Tabacchi is a spa industry veteran and pioneer in spa education.

The ISPA Foundation's Mary Tabacchi Scholarship will be awarded to a junior, senior or grad student enrolled full-time in a bachelor's or master's program of a related discipline, i.e. business, health science, hospitality or spa management, and is pursuing a spa management/spa leadership/spa entrepreneurial-related career. The recipient will receive $5,000 USD to offset their education expenses, a complimentary registration, travel stipend and hotel accommodations to attend the ISPA Conference & Expo, a one-year ISPA student membership and will be assigned a one-year mentor.

The application for the 2014 Mary Tabacchi Scholarship has closed.  If you applied for this opportunity, you will be informed of your application status mid-May.

A donation form is located below if you would like to contribute to the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship Fund. To download the donation form, click here.

A selection committee will review applications based on the following criteria:

Desired applicant:
1. will be a junior, senior or grad student in the upcoming school year and enrolled full-time in a bachelor's or master's program of a related discipline, i.e. business, health science, hospitality or spa management, and pursuing a spa management/spa leadership/spa entrepreneurial-related career. Please note: seniors applying for this scholarship must be enrolled in classes for the fall 2014 semester to be eligible;
2. has completed or is enrolled in courses with a strong emphasis in business or science curriculum such as exercise physiology or biology as well as shows a focus in analytical course work;
3. has a minimum GPA (or international equivalent) of 3.0;
4. has completed/currently completing a spa-related internship/externship or has conducted/currently conducting a project, paper, research initiative, etc. that has a demonstrated focus on the spa industry and can provide details of the skills and experiences gained during said internship/externship or project/paper/research initiative in his/her resume;
5. is involved in on- or off-campus organizations or clubs and demonstrates leadership roles held in such organizations or clubs, and
6. submits the following required materials no later than April 30, 2014:
a. a completed scholarship application including detailed responses to Section 3 Essay Questions;
b. original college transcripts that include evidence of courses taken and current GPA (or international equivalent);
c. two reference letters, and
d. a professional resume.


Mary H. Tabacchi, Ph.D., R.D., is an associate professor with tenure at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Dr. Tabacchi began teaching at Cornell University in 1972 as a visiting assistant professor in the division of nutritional sciences. Her Ph.D. is in Biochemical Nutrition, Biostatistics. She is a well-respected author and researcher, having published numerous papers and books on nutrition, spa and other related subjects, as well as extensive research on the spa industry. Her reach has expanded the globe, through research, education and consulting projects in Europe, Asia and North America. Dr. Tabacchi has served on the International SPA Association Board of Directors, past president of the ISPA Foundation and numerous spa and spa-related advisory boards and committees.

International SPA Association
2365 Harrodsburg Road, Suite A325 Lexington, KY 40504
Phone: 1.859.226.4326 Toll Free: 1.888.651.ISPA (4772)
Fax: 1.859.226.4445 Email:
© 2008-2013. International SPA Association. All Rights Reserved.