Student Body Association Announces "Of the Year" Winners

We are pleased to share the winners of the 2012-2013 "Of The Year" awards, selected by the Student Body Association (SBA) based upon the nominations received by peers and colleagues.

There were many quality nominations and the people below excelled in the quality and scope of their work last year.

Student of the Year: Christine Dalva (top left), Student in the Entry Level Masters in Nursing, Case Manager program. Christine was nominated for her community service, support of medical missions, her cultural competence, and her leadership.

Comment about Christine:
"This student is the embodiment of the values of Samuel Merritt University. She consistently goes above and beyond to share knowledge, work with her cohort to heighten learning in the classroom environment, and has been invaluable in raising awareness and funding for oversees medical missions. She is culturally sensitive and strives to increase her cohort's cultural competence.  Lastly, she brings a positive attitude wherever she goes which contributes to a cooperative learning and working environment."

Faculty of the Year: Rolando Lazaro (right), Associate Professor and Co-Chair, Physical Therapy.  Rolando was nominated for his quality of teaching, his mission work and Fulbright Scholarship, and his student focus.

Comment about Rolando:
"Doctor Lazaro is committed to the progress of the physical therapy program at SMU.  As the new co-chair of the physical therapy department, he has helped to organize the first ever California Student Conclave at SMU, which attracted hundreds of physical therapy students from all over California.  He has also been involved in research, inviting students (like myself) to help him in his research and even present research at events such as the national physical therapy conference in San Diego this past January. Doctor Lazaro recently received the prestigious Fulbright award to teach master’s level courses at the University of the Philippines.  Doctor Lazaro is a wonderful representative of Samuel Merritt and continues to promote the University through his myriad of worthy endeavors."

Staff of the Year: Kathryn Ward (bottom left), Student Services Coordinator, Office of Student Services, San Francisco Peninsula Learning Center. Kathryn was nominated for her engagement with students, creation of a positive co-curricular learning environment, her career events and guidance, and her efforts "above and beyond."

Comment about Kathryn:
"Kathryn has been our saving grace. She has a smile on her face even when her workload is overwhelming. She does whatever possible to guide and assist the students. She has been caring and selfless when others were not. We all appreciate her and always will."

The winners get their "name in lights" on the perpetual plaques in the 2nd Floor Hallway of the Peralta Pavilion and the pride of knowing they have served the SMU community well. 

Please join us in congratulating the winners.




upper left: Christine Dalva on a Global Brigades mission to Ghana
right: Rolando Lazaro
bottom left: Kathryn Ward


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