Clark College News and Events
Clark College News and Events
Worldwide service is the hallmark
VANCOUVER, Wash. – He has traveled the world, providing medical care in areas devastated by disaster, conflict, and poverty. For his humanitarian efforts, Enrico (Rico) Selga has been named the recipient of the 2010 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award.
Selga will be honored on June 2 during the college’s annual Alumni-Student Dinner, presented by the Associated Students of Clark College and the Clark College Alumni Association with support from Riverview Community Bank.
The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Gaiser Student Center on Clark’s main campus. Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at www.clark.edu/maps. Registration information is available at www.clarkcollegefoundation.org. Individual tickets cost $25 each. The event supports scholarships and student success at Clark College.
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.
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “We believe strongly in the importance of service-learning. Since his time as a Clark student, Rico Selga has demonstrated how one person can make a difference -- in our region and in our world. We are proud to honor him for his service, his compassion and his commitment to helping others.”
About Rico Selga
Dedicated. Hard-working. Committed. Kind. Humble. Those are some of the words people use to describe Enrico Selga. Born in the Philippines, he came to the United States at age 15, settling in Vancouver and graduating from Mountain View High School.
Known by his friends as Rico, 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.
He and his wife, Jennifer, owned and operated the Coffee Lounge in Vancouver until December 2009. Today, they operate a Coffee Lounge outlet on Clark’s main campus. In addition, Selga works as the charge nurse at Cascade Park Care Center, where he supervises the floor nurse and caregivers who are responsible for 30 patients.
Selga was 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. He has returned to Liberia multiple times since then. Making an immediate difference, he worked in a mobile clinic, treating people for malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition. Making a long-term difference, he taught Liberian health care professionals about infection control (everything from boiling medical equipment for sterilization to building incinerators to destroy medical waste). He says he knows that his efforts have made a difference because, when he returns, “the lines outside the clinic are shorter and fewer people are dying.”
In 2010, he travelled to Haiti with Medical Teams International. They set up a temporary clinic where, Selga said, “Instantly, you have a line of 200 to 300 people. Even in the morning, it’s 85 degrees, totally humid, and people don’t care, they’re desperate for help.” He added, “You could see it in the Haitians’ eyes, the gratitude; they didn’t have to say a word….There’s nothing that’s as rewarding as helping other people.
Rico Selga began his contributions to Clark College as a student and has continued as an alumnus. While a full-time nursing student, Rico Selga served as vice president of activities for the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC). He was also active with the Model United Nations program. Since graduating, he has worked with Clark students in the college’s Peace Education Project. He also served on the Clark College Alumni Association Board.
Rico Selga describes Clark College as “my stepping stone in life. It has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the world.” He credits history professor Dr. Anita Fisher – and class discussions of international travel -- as “a big reason for why I do what I do.”
A Clark College representative noted, “As a young man, Rico Selga has contributed more to our community – and to the world – than many people do in a lifetime.”