Wayne State Students Receive Rutan Scholarships 2012

Left:  Rick Rutan, Judy Rutan, Sara Fukuzawa, Valerie Sammut, Kristin N. Loush, Aisha Kadiri


Four Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) scholars from Wayne State University WSU) were awarded scholarships from the Lara Rutan, MS, PA-C Endowed Scholarship Fund. Grosse Pointe residents, Rick and Judy Rutan, awarded the scholarships in memory of their daughter and PAS alumna during the May 16 Donors and Scholars Awards presentation of the WSU Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Recipients of the scholarships are Sara C. Fukuzawa of Troy, MI; Aisha Kadiri of Dearborn Heights, MI; Kristin N. Loush of Troy, MI; and Valerie Sammut of Shelby Township, MI, all are in their final year of the two-year PAS program.

“The Rutan Family and the generosity of their family and friends continue to have a significant impact on the PAS students at Wayne State University,” said Stephanie Gilkey, program director. This year’s PAS Class of 2012 made a donation of $900 to the fund. In a letter to the Rutans, the class acknowledged the memorial website www.laraslegacy.com established by the Rutan family. “We were touched by Lara’s life and accomplishments.
We are sorry for your great loss and we are humbled that you have chosen to commemorate her life through this scholarship fund that provides assistance to our classmates and future colleagues. Through this memorial scholarship, Lara will be remembered forever and will continue to touch the lives of future students.”

The memorial scholarship was established in 2007 following the tragic death of Ms. Rutan by a drunk driver in September 2005. If you would like to make a gift to the Lara Rutan Endowed Scholarship in Physician Assistant Studies, please call Tiffany Cusmano, the Development Director at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at (313) 577-0273.

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, one of the founding colleges of WayneState University, is committed to advancing the health and well-being of society through the preparation of highly skilled health care practitioners, and through research to improve health care practices and treatment from urban to global levels.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.


Sara C. Fukuzawa is currently a second-year PAS student at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University,where she serves as: Co-Vice President of the Class of 2013; the supervising chair to both the Interview and Orientation committees and to the Graduation committee. She recently completed each of the last two consecutive semesters with a 4.0 GPA. Prior to her entrance into this graduate program, she completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology at Michigan State University in 2008 after completing coursework at Grand Valley State University. She was on the Dean’s List at both institutions. She received several academic scholarships in her undergraduate years including: the Michigan State University Board of Trustees Scholarship for Transfer Students from 2006-2008, the Bert Price Diversity Scholarship, the Helen Claytor Award, the GVSU Award of Excellence, and the Michigan Merit Award. At Michigan State University, Ms. Fukuzawa was also an undergraduate researcher through the MSU Center for Microbial Ecology and the President of the Running Club, which competed in a National Intercollegiate Running Club Association (NIRCA). Ms. Fukuzawa has been a volunteer of the Hospice of Michigan, the Michigan State University Alternative Spring Break program, the Spartan Buddies Mentor Program, the Conservation Volunteers of Australia, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training, and of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Hudsonville Physical Therapy, and Dequindre Physical Therapy. She hopes to serve in an inpatient hospital in Detroit in an ICU or in a Cardiology unit, and would like to become involved in a research-based surgical improvement program.

Aisha Kadiri obtained a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University in 2009, graduating summa cum laude, and was one of the first PAS HealthPro Start students admitted to the program.   After graduation, she traveled overseas to provide care for an ailing family member, and worked as a rotating nurse’s aide, and spent most of her time providing care for recovering trauma victims.  Upon returning to the US, she began working as a teaching assistant for Biology 4200 at WSU, and as a substitute teacher in Dearborn Public Schools.  Prior to becoming a PA student, she volunteered at religious community centers, local elementary schools, and tutoring children, and worked as an orderly in an urgent care center. Since becoming a WSU PA student, she has taken charge of several fundraising activities for the program, raising more than $5,000 during Year I of the program.  She has given presentations concerning the Islamic faith in healthcare at WSU. When not studying, she takes care of her family and the community. Ms. Kadiri considers it her life work to help others.

Kristin N. Loush is currently a second-year Physician Assistant Studies student at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University where she serves as the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants student liaison.  She just completed her first year of the Physician Assistant Studies program, earning a 4.0 GPA in each of the 3 didactic semesters.  Kristin graduated from the University of Michigan in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Movement Science.  At the University of Michigan, Ms. Loush dedicated a significant amount of time to serving the community through work at the University of Michigan Dance Marathon, High Point Special Education School, Eberwhite Elementary School, Mott Children’s Hospital, and the Ann Arbor Senior Center.  She also served as an undergraduate research assistant in a muscular biology lab. This year, along with the Lara Rutan Memorial Scholarship, Kristin has also been awarded the 2012 Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame Scholarship, granted to students who intend to work with the physically and mentally disabled populations after graduation.  After graduation, Ms. Loush is interested in pursuing a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, possibly at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan with her other interests including primary care and cardiology. She also intends to incorporate community service and volunteer work into her career, ideally in Southwestern Michigan.

Valerie Sammut obtained an animal science degree at Michigan State University where she was a member of the Equestrian Team and the Horsemanship Association.   After graduating with honors, she pursued a career in the animal industry, and volunteered as an advisory board member at a local college to assist in developing a curriculum, which promoted humane and safe treatment of animals for a veterinary technology program.  She coached an equestrian team for a local high school, which stimulated an interest in helping people. She became a certified nurse assistant and worked at an inpatient hospice unit and at St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland on a medical/surgical unit, and currently works as an emergency center technician at Troy Beaumont Hospital. Prior to entering the WSU PAS program, she has volunteered regularly in the community and during Year I of the program her volunteer activities included the following organizations; Focus:  Hope, Heart of Detroit, and Operation Christmas Child) and serves as the WSU PAS Class of 2012 as Vice President. while maintaining a 3.94 GPA. She received the WSU Graduate Professional Scholarship in May of 2011.


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