Kate Sornson became interested in the spa industry when she read an ad in a newspaper for a spa-receptionist position. Once hired, she found she loved connecting with clients and helping them experience the best spa treatments for their needs.

Today, Sornson is the 2010 recipient of the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship presented by the International SPA Association (ISPA) Foundation. She has her sights set on opening her own spa with an addiction rehabilitation center.

“I believe the spa industry and recovery are about helping people to help themselves,” Sornson said. “I hope to open the door for greater understanding and acceptance of various addictions.”

Sornson is enrolled in the University of Houston’s spa-management program. As recipient of the scholarship, she will receive $2,500 toward her education and a trip to the 2010 ISPA Conference & Expo, Nov. 15-18 in National Harbor, Maryland.

“We are thrilled to honor Kate Sornson as the third recipient of the Mary Tabacchi scholarship,” said ISPA Foundation President Jeff Kohl. “Her passion for the spa industry is evident, and she will be a great asset to the spa community.”

The scholarship is named in honor of industry pioneer and Cornell University Associate, Professor Mary H. Tabacchi, Ph.D., R.D.