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Dee Lilly Physical Therapy Scholarship Recipients Named

May 10, 2013

Dee Lilly Scholarship Recipients with Dee Lilly and PT faculty
PT Department Chair Sheryl Low, Tom Davis, Dee Lilly, Tricia Clay, and faculty Dan Mathiyakom and Aimie Kachingwe


Physical Therapy Doctoral students Patricia Clay and Tom Davis are the 2013 recipients of the 2013 Dee Lilly Scholarship.  The students were selected for the awards because they have demonstrated exceptional commitment to professional growth and service, outstanding leadership, a positive and professional attitude, and outstanding clinical potential. "I am extremely thankful and honored," said Clay.  "The support of the foundation and faculty is a big financial help to me by reducing my student loans, as well as a great inspiration to pursue my passion even in the face of adversity."  Davis echoed Clay's sentiments, adding that, "This will be a great contribution toward my education, but most importantly, it motivates me to continue to excel in the classroom and lead activities within the community."

Dee Lilly was a valued faculty member at CSUN throughout the 1980's, teaching anatomy and physiology. She was always known, and still is, for encouraging future physical therapists by instilling a yearning for knowledge and a motivation to help others. The scholarship was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from George Erb, a leading Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapist in Ventura county. He employs a staff of educated personal trainers with degrees in Exercise Physiology, Athletic Training, and certification as Strength and Conditioning Specialists.  Erb established the scholarship as lead donor in 2009.  Later that year, Jeff Vargo, a long-time supporter of the CSUN PT Program, enhanced the scholarship by adding his financial support. Vargo Physical Therapy has seven locations serving the northern Los Angeles area. Vargo is a lifetime member of the CSUN Alumni Association.

About Patricia "Tricia" Clay: After graduating from college in 2003, Tricia worked for several years as a backpacking and rock-climbing guide. She was struck by a falling rock in a severe rock-climbing accident, and the intensive rehabilitation that followed inspired her to change her career to Physical Therapy. She was accepted into the PT program at CSUN. In addition to working hard on her academics, Tricia has continued to volunteer for the Desert Institute in Joshua Tree, assisting with educational hikes and to  encourage exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. She is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and was a lab representative for her class before lab sections were merged. After graduation, Tricia plans to work in more rural areas to provide high quality physical therapy to low income patients and focus on community education on healthy living.

About Tom Davis: Tom consistently demonstrates professional commitment in the classroom and continually challenges himself outside of the school curriculum. Since beginning the CSUN Physical Therapy program, he has been a volunteer assistant for the CSUN men’s basketball and baseball teams and has monitored CSUN athletes in the prehabilitation program. He assisted PT faculty in demonstrations for a group of international students  visiting from Japan and also performed outreach to high school students, notably the Chatsworth High School student orientation, and he  participated in Discovery Day for Northridge Academy High School. After graduation, Tom plans to work in sports medicine and looks to  personally advance the broad field of physical therapy in the future.