A UM-Flint physical therapy student has been selected to be the first recipient of The Selig Award for Excellence on behalf of the dean of the School of Health Professions and Studies (SHPS).
Third year doctoral student, Anna Kilbourn, was presented the $2,000 award by retired Flint cardiologist Dr. Cyrus Farrehi during a special presentation held at SHPS.
The Selig Award of Excellence is given to a student attending the University of Michigan-Flint School of Health Professions and Studies for exceptional achievement in academics and civic or community engagement.
Established by the Farrehi Family Foundation, the award honors the long-standing and distinguished service of Suzanne Selig Ph.D. in promoting health professions education and career development throughout the University of Michigan-Flint, plus her countless contributions to Flint's public health community for more than three decades.
Dr. Farrehi said he sees the award as a way to encourage students to pursue excellence in academics and participate in meaningful community service.
"There is no place more important than the center for higher education, especially now," said Farrehi. "We need more expertise, focused training, more of a foundation built on ethics and justice for people, and that is what higher education instills in you–not just the technical stuff. No institution is worth its salt if it does not recognize its own, and this award recognizes both the teacher and the student."
Anna Kilbourn was selected for not only scholastic accomplishments, but also civic engagement, particularly the health and welfare of our community members. She is the first clinic co-director for PT HEART, a student-run free clinic which offers free physical therapy and health education services to homeless individuals at the North End Soup Kitchen. She has worked closely with the PT HEART board of directors and the faculty advisor to move the student-run pro bono clinic from concept to operation.
PT HEART operates each Friday, providing free health information, and soon, physical therapy services to an underserved health care area of Flint. Anna volunteered approximately 200 hours of service to the clinic, promoted the clinic to SHPS faculty, the PT department, all Doctor of Physical Therapy classes, undergraduate students, plus coordinated a student internship opportunity with the communications department. She has not limited her influence to her university and community. She also co-presented at the Society for Student Run Free Clinics in Long Beach, California in February of 2012 on the PT HEART concept.
"I have always believed that the best way for us to grow as individuals and as health care professionals is to find a connection to our community, and give selflessly to others," said Kilbourn on being selected for the award. "Access to healthcare and health services can change a person's life."
For SHPS, the establishment of the award opens new doors to unique opportunities.
"The Selig Award of Excellence provides our school with a wonderful opportunity to recognize those students who have achieved excellence in both their academic and community involvement pursuits," said SHPS Dean David Gordon, M.D. "We offer our heart-filled thanks to Dr. Cyrus and Jane Farrehi and the Farrehi Family Foundation for their generosity in making this award possible."
SHPS Associate Dean Donna Fry, PT, PhD, CHC, said the award encourages students to achieve in their studies and in outside-the-classroom activities. She siad, "The Farrehi's desire to recognize student excellence through an award exemplifies the university's strategic goals of excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship, as well as engaged citizenship."
The award seeks to challenge all students, and inspire generations of exemplar leaders both academically and in service to community, the very goals pursued by Professor Selig throughout her long and distinguished tenure at the University of Michigan-Flint.
"I'm honored to be recognized for my service in this very public manner by the Farrehi family who represent the very best in this community as demonstrated by their continued commitment to excellence in all that they do," said Selig.