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Megan Scheffe '24 Receives American Red Cross Award

Published Friday, July 05, 2024

Megan Scheffe '24
Megan Scheffe '24

Megan Scheffe is a 2024 graduate of the SMSU Exercise Science Program in the Twin Cities. She has also spent more than seven years working as a Red Cross certified lifeguard for the City of Plymouth. It was her Red Cross training and experience that positioned her to be ready for anything. And luckily for one person last year, she was able to put her life-saving skills into action.  

"I was out one night for dinner, just hanging out. I heard from the other side of the restaurant some commotion and I wasn't sure what was going on. And then I heard someone say choking,” said Scheffe. “I shouted across the restaurant and asked, ‘is he choking?’ And someone responded with yes. That's when I ran over and helped the kid out.” 

Megan went home and told her mom about the incident. Her mom has received newsletters from the American Red Cross and was familiar with the national recognition, so she submitted an application. Megan was unaware of the honor until she received an email from the Red Cross.  

She learned she was being presented with the American Red Cross’ National Certificate of Merit at the Red Cross headquarters in Minneapolis for her lifesaving efforts in 2023. The certificate is signed by the chairperson of the Red Cross and President Joe Biden. 

"I was pretty shocked that I was receiving the award, because it's such a high honor within the Red Cross. But part of me was also wondering why am I being recognized? This is what I've been trained for and I have a duty to act,” said Megan. “I know it’s a special award and I’m so honored to be recognized.” 

Megan has been a lifeguard ever since she was 15. It was her first job. Then she became a certified Red Cross swim teacher. Soon after, she trained to be a lifeguard instructor which means she can certify other lifeguards. She's also a basic life support instructor in first aid, CPR, and babysitting certification. 

Megan grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Wayzata High School and has worked for the City of Plymouth. She was unsure about what to study in school.  

“When I was a sophomore in high school, I was a pole vaulter and injured my back. I worked with the athletic trainers a lot to recover. Luckily, we had two at the time, most high schools only have one. But I got to work closely with them and that's when I started to get interested the field.” 

Her boss in Plymouth was also an exercise science major and told Megan about how exciting the field is and how open it is for a wide variety of career options. After Megan earned an associate’s degree, she jumped into SMSU's Twin Cities Exercise Science program, taking classes on the North Hennepin and Anoka Ramsey campuses. The program allowed her to stay close to home, continue working her job in Plymouth, and earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from SMSU. 

“It was a fantastic program. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in exercise science. Dr. Morgan Betker and Dr. Kris Cleveland have been phenomenal,” said Megan. “I had most of my classes with Dr. Betker and she was great.” 

Megan explained that while she wasn't able to take classes with Dr. Cleveland, she met her at the American College Sports Medicine conference where students from other college exercise programs gathered each year. The conference allowed her to connect in-person with other students and faculty in the SMSU program. 

“I really appreciate all the hands on we were able to do, even as we came out of COVID, the teachers were very flexible and willing to be flexible if something didn't work, they would change it to help us learn better," said Megan. “They recognized we have lives outside of being students. They all clearly wanted us to learn, and very willing to help us to be the best that we can be.” 

A few weeks before she completed her bachelor’s degree from SMSU, she was considering what to do next. She applied and was accepted to Minnesota State, Mankato to start the master’s degree program. She plans to become an athletic trainer.  

“I'll essentially be a first responder for sports teams,” said Megan. With her training, education, and hands-on experience, she is confident she will be ready for anything.  


Tag Icon Tags: Exercise Science, About SMSU

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