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CSUB Hearst Award
  September 1, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

Summer Wood of Taft, a junior nursing student at California State University, Bakersfield, has won a coveted William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees award, a $3,000 competitive scholarship awarded by the CSU trustees. Only one student from each of the 23 CSU campuses is nominated for this prestigious award; only 19 scholarships are awarded.

"It's such an honor," Wood said. "I'm so grateful to the trustees and the university. This means so much to me. I'm delighted and honored that I can represent the CSUB nursing department."

Wood's goal is to become a registered nurse, then later earn a master's degree in nursing. She will be honored at the CSU Trustees September meeting.

CSUB President Horace Mitchell congratulated Wood on her award. "We are very proud of Summer and her achievement," he said. "She is not only one of CSUB's outstanding students, but also one of the truly outstanding students in the CSU."

Wood's desire to become a nurse stems from her upbringing. She grew up in Port Townsend, Wash., with her uncle and aunt, who worked with developmentally disabled adults.

"My uncle's life work providing care for mentally disabled adults inspired me," she said. "I had the opportunity to work with him providing in-home health care. I worked with clients with many different levels of functioning, including mentally ill, physically disabled, and even sexual offenders. Looking back on the five years I spent with him helping others, I recognize the contribution I made to those people's lives. I found that experience quite enriching."

While at Taft College, where she earned an associate of arts, she was president of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college, and provided nearly 300 hours of service on campus and in the community. Her service included volunteering with the American Cancer Society, helping feed the homeless at the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, working with students with learning disabilities, reading to elementary school children, and tutoring other students. She also volunteered at the Taft Need Center.

Wood anticipates graduating in June 2008, and beginning her nursing career.