Luncheon honors RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo for their support of educating future health care providers
By Nancy P. Weiss
RuthAnn Lobo, an award-winning educator and counselor in Connecticut schools, moved the crowd of students, faculty, administrators and alumni from chuckles to near-tears as she reflected on the course her life has taken. In 1993, she was diagnosed with breast cancer just as her daughter, Rebecca, was gaining national prominence as a champion basketball player.
Lobo described her response to the challenge of facing cancer and the support she received from her family, including her husband, Dennis, whom she teased frequently during her talk. Because of her experiences, RuthAnn and Rebecca established a scholarship to help students from diverse backgrounds pursue careers in allied health and nursing.
Nisha Wali, the 2009-2010 recipient of the award, is a student in the School of Nursing. Wali spoke about her decision to become a nurse, nodding in the direction of her parents, and she thanked the Lobos for providing the scholarship support.
Lawrence Silbart, professor and head of the Department of Allied Health Sciences, thanked the Lobos for their support of his department, which prepares students for jobs in a wide range of allied health sub-specialties, and expressed his commitment to increasing diversity in the health care fields.
Denis Coble, associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and a cancer survivor, spoke about his work with Native Americans. Coble uses talking circles as a way to disseminate health information to tribes. As each speaker shared anecdotes about health, career, dreams and family, a kind of talking circle developed, inspired by RuthAnn Lobo’s articulate expression of her message and her daughter’s beaming presence.
To support the RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Leadership Scholarship in Allied Health and Nursing, please send contributions to the UConn Foundation Inc., c/o Amy Hanaburgh, Director of Development; 1376 Storrs Rd., Storrs CT 06269-4066. Or go to the UConn Foundation’s secure Web site.