A Wayne State University School of Medicine student is one of only six college students in Michigan to be recognized with the Outstanding Community Impact Award from the Michigan Campus Compact.
Phillip Kucab, a second-year medical student, will receive the award at an April 14 banquet in East Lansing, Mich. His work in developing World AIDS Day Detroit, held Dec. 1, 2011, earned him the honor. Kucab was largely responsible for the regional reawakening of the threat that AIDS still holds, and for bringing perhaps the nation’s most famous face of the fight against AIDS – Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White -- to Detroit for the event.
“I think this is great,” Kucab said. “This will be a great opportunity to network with each other and meet others doing this kind of work. It will be a time to celebrate the good things that are happening across Michigan that don’t always get major media attention.”
A non-profit organization, Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education, including the development of personal and social responsibility as integral to education. The Compact sees itself as a leader in building civic engagement into campus and academic life. Its stated purpose is to build and sustain a network of colleges and universities to strengthen student engagement through sharing and expanding knowledge and resources, fostering community partnerships and celebrating service leaders.
The MCC annually recognizes college students with three awards. The Heart and Soul Award goes to undergraduate and graduate students for their time, effort and personal commitment to the community. The Commitment to Service Award goes to two students per MCC member university for the breadth and depth of the student’s community involvement and service.
The Outstanding Community Impact Award, which Kucab has won, is awarded annually to five undergraduate students and one graduate student who have made service an integral part of their college experience “by their significant contribution to community resources.” The winners, the MCC said, must demonstrate efforts to “build partnerships between their campuses and communities, and demonstrate personal reflection and a commitment to lifelong engagement.” The winners of this award are selected by an outside review panel and receive $200 to donate to the service organization of their choice.
Kucab, originally of Sterling Heights, Mich., said he will donate his $200 to the Hemophiliac Foundation of Michigan, which was instrumental in making World AIDS Day Detroit successful.
“Phil, who is quick to deflect attention and credit from himself, poured his heart and soul into making World AIDS Day Detroit the success that it was,” said Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., vice dean of Education for the School of Medicine. “While there were many medical school students and outside organizations that subsequently became involved, it was Phil who was the spark. He effectively mobilized the medical school community, the medical community engaged in caring for HIV-positive individuals, community organizations and affected individuals to gather and have a dialogue about how to continue to eradicate this infection and disease through prevention, early detection and treatment. Though Phil’s work, we are a community reunited around ‘getting to zero.’ He is a shining example of the type of caring and community-minded student we seek to become physicians, and is more than deserving of this award.”
World AIDS Day Detroit began with a mayors’ breakfast at The Fillmore Detroit theater. There, stakeholders and elected officials from southeast Michigan, including Detroit Council President Charles Pugh, heard from White-Ginder about the story of her son and her own fight. Amy Lange of WJBK-TV FOX 2 Detroit served as emcee. The breakfast kicked off a daylong schedule of events, including a Michigan Department of Community Health World AIDS Day Meeting, featuring education sessions and workshops for Detroit area schools and community members; a screening of “Bad Blood,” a film that chronicles how HIV entered the blood supply, with the producer, director and cast members at The Fillmore; and a community program in the evening featuring a keynote address by White-Ginder.