Inspirational Student Honored with Award

Contact: Kelley Bozeman

 

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“As a fraternity brother of Mike’s, I can vouch for his character, and I struggle to find a weakness. Even when things aren't going his way, he never gets down; rather, he accepts the challenges and meets them head on.”

-- Daniel J. Kelly,
president,
UK’s Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2004) -- Michael Brent was a typical high school athletic star – he played basketball, baseball and golf. But this former Henry County High School student’s life took a different turn when he fell asleep at the steering wheel of his car, crashing it and leaving him paralyzed. That was in 1997. Fast forward to 2004 and you will see that Michael Brent is still a star – shining bright in life.

Brent, a senior broadcast journalism major in the University of Kentucky College of Communications and Information Studies, will receive UK’s Adelstein Award at 3:30 p.m. April 8 in 206 Student Center on the UK campus. The award is given by the UK Disability Resource Center to students with disabilities who are inspirations to others.

“As a fraternity brother of Mike’s, I can vouch for his character, and I struggle to find a weakness,” said Daniel J. Kelly, president of UK’s Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. “Even when things aren't going his way, he never gets down; rather, he accepts the challenges and meets them head on.”

Yvonne Cappe, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, nominated Brent for the award.

“The broadcast journalism path is a demanding path for any student, but most students confined to a wheelchair wouldn't even attempt it,” Cappe said. “With the help of classmates working under his direction, Michael has managed the reporting, videography and editing of television news stories.”

Lisa A. Brown, director of student and multicultural affairs in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, another nominator, said what she admires most about Brent is his outlook on life.

“Michael is a remarkable young man who exudes warmth. He commands your respect because he is so determined,” Brown said. “He once remarked to me that he has been able to reach more people in his wheelchair than when he was able to walk.”

“That,” she said, “is an understatement.”

The Adelstein Award is named for the late Carol S. Adelstein, wife of retired UK English professor Michael Adelstein. Carol, who used a wheelchair because of polio, was an inspiration to persons with disabilities by leading a meaningful, successful life at a time when individuals with disabilities were not encouraged to be independent and contributing members of society.


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