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The 2013 Campanella / Dodgers Physical Therapy Scholarship Recipients

February 21, 2013

Campanella Scholars with Roxie CampanellaThe Roy and Roxie Campanella Foundation and the Dodgers Dream Foundation are the benefactors of this scholarship award which provides financial assistance to physical therapy students who have shown outstanding clinical potential.

The awarding committee takes into account service and leadership activities, clinical instructor and faculty evaluations, and personal experience and cultural competencies. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of application with a Physical Therapy Program GPA above 3.2.

Dean Sylvia A. Alva and Physical Therapy Department Chair Sheryl Low presented the awards on February 1, 2013 along with Scholarship Benefactor Joni Campanella Roan and David Brennan, Dodgers Dream Foundation Fundraising Manager.

In the photo, left to right: Karissa Smith, Samuel Rabizadeh, Rebecca Douglas, Joni Campanella Roan, Breanna Langel, Janaya Pfeifer and Pamela Liang. Photo by Krishna Narayanamurti.

Class 56 (2nd Year Students):

Rebecca Douglass: President of the Physical Therapy Club, Rebecca has been instrumental in the development and organization of numerous events for CSUN PT for the campus and local communities. She recently made presentations to the 2012 CSUN Pre-Health Conference and undergraduate CSUN Kinesiology students and has attended multiple professional development conferences including those held by the California Physical Therapy Association and the National Physical Therapy Association.

Rebecca thanks the CSUN Physical Therapy faculty for recognizing her for this award and says she is grateful to the Campanella and Dodgers Dream Foundation. “This prestigious award is truly an honor and a privilege to and I am so thankful to everyone who acknowledged me and my fellow classmates.” Rebecca adds that this award will support her as she continues to help people improve their own physical and functional independence through physical therapy.

Breanna Langel: As an undergraduate, Breanna was a political science major committed to changing the world through policies and international relations. She studied abroad in her junior year and, after graduation, led international educational cultural awareness tours to high school students. After four years, Breanna realized promoting health and fitness was her passion. Now in her second year in CSUN PT, she says she looks forward to changing the world one patient at a time as a physical therapist.

She says she was ecstatic to learn she had been selected for this scholarship award, thanking the Campanella and Dodgers Dream Foundation for their generosity and support. “I would like to thank all who made such kind and generous donations to this fantastic organization. The Campanella scholarship represents and promotes that which is most important to me: being an active member of a global community and providing exceptional care as a physical therapist. I would also like to acknowledge the faculty for their commitment and support throughout this rigorous program. It is a true honor to be recognized for this award. I look forward to making you proud!”

Pamela Liang: As vice president of the CSUN Physical Therapy Club, Pamela has played a critical role in planning and organizing events to promote the profession, including volunteering at club events such as the Chatsworth High School Health Science Fair. She says she was inspired to serve because of peers who took time out of their studies to do the same. She has also helped the Department of Physical Therapy work with visiting PT students from Japan.

Having studied the language, she says she looks forward to discussing physical therapy with the students in Japanese, “my two favorite subjects at once.” She says, “When I found out I was chosen to for the scholarship, the first thing I did was call my mom. She was so proud of me and couldn’t be happier.” She adds that it is a great honor to receive the award from the Campanella Foundation and Dodgers Dream Foundation. She thanks everyone for their support, adding, “I will work hard to become an inspiring physical therapist.”

Janaya Pfeifer: Janaya has been a part of community service projects in leadership roles throughout high school, as an undergraduate and now in graduate school. She is Class 56 treasurer and an active member of the Physical Therapy Club. Janaya says she is “blessed and full of gratitude to be receiving the Campanella scholarship,” adding that, “Because of [this] generosity, the burden of my educational finances has been uplifted to the point where I feel confident I can afford to stay in this wonderful program.

I offer my complete and utter thanks to all the faculty for their dedication to provide us with a fantastic education, the Campanella Foundation and the Dodgers Dream Foundation for making this scholarship possible, and my mentor Sharon Grady for introducing me to this wonderful field. I am excited to make physical therapy my career and to continue to serving my community.”

Class 57 (1st Year Students):

Samuel Rabizadeh: As undergraduate student in CSUN Kinesiology Samuel was attracted to the adaptive therapeutic exercise programs at the Center of Achievement and the Brown Center. He applied for the new Doctorate in Physical Therapy program at CSUN and began volunteering to work with people with disabilities before beginning studies. When his uncle, who was like a father to him, had a stroke, Sam coupled the knowledge he gained working with stroke patients at the Brown Center with professional advice from several physical therapists and applied it to helping his uncle. As he worked through his studies, Sam used his resourcefulness, time management and persistence to help his uncle make strides towards recovery.

Samuel says he was overjoyed to hear that he was selected for the scholarship. “I am very grateful, humbled and appreciative to everybody who has supported me through my struggles and accomplishments. I am sure that with the confidence from this scholarship, and from hard work, that I will be in a good position to succeed in the future.”

Karissa Smith: Karissa studied Dance in Kinesiology as an undergraduate, and, knowing the importance of taking care of the body, decided to continue her education with CSUN PT. Karissa says she is determined to not only absorb what the program has to offer, but to reach out to others. From the start she has volunteered at the university’s Pre-Health Conference and assisted in the gait lab when a group of Japanese PT students visited campus. She also plans to volunteer at the 2013 Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association and looks forward to other opportunities in the coming semesters.

Karissa is thankful to the faculty and all who have made the Campanella Scholarship possible. “I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient and will continue to seek out opportunities to share my growing knowledge about the field of physical therapy with the community and prospective students. This scholarship will help me succeed as a knowledgeable and caring professional, and for that I am grateful.”