Worldwide service is the hallmark
of this “Outstanding” Clark alum
Left to right: Vancouver Mayor and Clark alum Tim Leavitt, Jennifer Selga, Rico Selga, and Clark College President Bob Knight. Selga received the 2010 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award.
“We are all co-creators of a better world.” With those words, Rico Selga summarized his experiences at Clark College and the contributions that he has made as an alumnus – contributions which led to his selection as the recipient of the 2010 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award.
Born in the Philippines, Selga came to the United States at age 15, settling in Vancouver and graduating from Mountain View High School. He studied nursing at Clark College, earning his AA degree in 1998. He then went on to WSU Vancouver and completed the nursing program there, graduating in 1999. He went on to earn a master’s degree in human relations from Plymouth State University (New Hampshire) and is continuing his doctoral studies at Portland State University.
In receiving the Outstanding Alumni award during the annual Alumni-Student Dinner on June 2, Selga spoke about his participation in the Model United Nations (U.N.) program. He noted that he and his fellow students were the first to represent the college at the national Model U.N. Conference – a tradition that continues to this day. He has credited history professor Dr. Anita Fisher – and class discussions of international travel – as “a big reason for why I do what I do.”
Armed conflicts in Kosovo led to the deaths and displacement of nearly 1 million people. Selga noted, “We talked about it. We wrote about it. But not much more.” He decided to do more and became a member of the Balkan Sunflowers, an international grassroots organization founded in 1999 to aid Kosovo refugees.
Selga traveled to Kosovo twice, working in camps to assist children and adults as part of the reconstruction in that country. In 2003, Selga joined Northwest Medical Teams, participating in a disaster relief mission to Liberia. In 2010, he travelled to Haiti with Medical Teams International.
|Maggie Culbertson, former State Senator and 2000 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Al Bauer, Clark College Alumni Association President George Welsh, Jim Baldovin of Riverview Bank, and Clark College Foundation Board member Carol Curtis.|
Selga joins a distinguished list of Clark alumni who have received the award. They include former Washington State Sen. Al Bauer, environmentalist Denis Hayes, and former U.S. Congressman Don Bonker.
Professor emeritus and Clark College Alumni Association Board of Directors member Donna Roberge (left) and Clark College Alumni Association President George Welsh (right) congratulate student Rebecca Zeff, recipient of the 2010 Clark College Alumni Association scholarship.
During the dinner, student Rebecca Zeff received the 2010 Clark College Alumni Scholarship. A member of Alpha Sigma Phi, the Clark College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Zeff was selected from among 160 applicants. She has a 4.0 grade point average and is working toward an associate degree as she pursues a medical career. She hopes to continue her education at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
She told the audience that everything she has “ever really wanted to do required higher education.” She noted, “This institution doesn’t just serve its community. It also creates community. When I have graduated, I will be proud to be an alumna of Clark College, and I look forward to giving back to this school that gave so much to me.”
Approximately 100 people attended the dinner, which was presented by the Associated Students of Clark College and the Clark College Alumni Association with support from Riverview Community Bank. Guests included students, faculty, staff, college leaders and alumni including Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, who also serves on the Clark College Alumni Association Board of Directors.