Melanie Sims: 2016 Quellhorst Fellow Inspired by an Older Generation

melanie sims

Melanie is a recipient of The Ralph C. and Sue Quellhorst Program for Leadership Education and Endowment Fund at United Church Homes. The fund is named in honor of a dynamic couple who became national leaders in the United Church of Christ and moved to Chapel Hill in retirement. This is a unique educational experience with internships, clinical fieldwork, and job shadowing for qualified undergraduate and graduate students. Melanie’s field placement begins in May at Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio.

As a college senior, Melanie trains in Human Development and Family Studies, where her concentration is in Nursing Home Administration. While Melanie interns at Chapel Hill, she will learn how each department works together toward the mission to transform aging, developing the leadership skills necessary to meet the goals of Chapel Hill’s quality, award-winning service.

Melanie’s healthcare interest and commitment to elders began at Mercy Hospital in Canton, where Melanie served patients and listened to their heartwarming stories, life journeys, and tidbits of wisdom. This only fueled her passion for servant leadership, and she realized that the senior population depicted strength and resilience.

Melanie serves as the founder and president of the Gerontology Club at Kent State’s Stark Campus, where her purpose is to combine the young and the young at heart through events and services that make a positive impact on the community.

“We are inspired by Melanie’s commitment to elder care. Her conviction to cultivating joy and purpose aligns with our vision of creating abundant life in community at United Church Homes,” said Debra Durbin, administrator of Chapel Hill.

Melanie has accepted the $8,000 scholarship opportunity to complete her requirements for graduation.

“I believe in the power of helping others. I believe that a little kindness goes a long way. I am very excited to provide services to a population of adults who have given selflessly their entire lives,” Melanie said.

“We value our educational affiliations very much. We want to support students like Melanie and learn from them about new things being taught in the changing field of gerontology and senior healthcare,” said Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes.

United Church Homes and the Chapel Hill Community welcome Melanie to the program.