Alumni Honored at CHS Hall of Fame Awards

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

“Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

That quote came from the iconic Dr. Seuss, and it was repeated Monday night by Stacy Fritz, PhD, PT, FAPTA — the newest inductee into the College of Health Sciences Hall of Fame.

A 1997 dual degree graduate in Health Sciences, with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy, Fritz is now a professor at the University of South Carolina (USC) in the Arnold School of Public Health and Chief of Staff for the president.

She was one of three alumni honored at the 2024 CHS Hall of Fame Awards, held Monday night at The Signature Club of Lansdowne. More than 70 invited guests came out to celebrate the honorees, and Fritz used the memorable Seuss quote to describe her time in the College.

“My time at UK turned me into a Physical Therapist,” she said. “It was about empathy. The human connection. Resilience. Hope. Inspiration.”

And when going over those memories Monday night, it was clear Fritz could see the value.

“This is a recognition,” she said. “Not an individual achievement.”

The UK College of Health Sciences proudly recognizes its alumni whose distinguished careers have contributed to, or brought merit to, our various academic programs.

Induction into the CHS Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon graduates whose professional contributions and dedicated service elevate their work in allied health on a local, state, regional, or national level. The first Hall of Fame honorees were inducted in 2002, and since that time, 43 alumni have been inducted into the CHS Hall of Fame, spanning each program housed within the College.

Two other awards were also given out Monday night — the Young Alumni Award, and the CHS Undergraduate Alumni Achievement Award, which was presented for the first time.

Shelby Baez, PhD, ATC, was honored as the Young Alumni Award winner. Baez graduated in 2016 and 2019 with degrees in Athletic Training and the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences PhD Program.

“The College has given me so much over the course of two degrees,” said Baez, who is now an assistant professor in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “How to be a good colleague, a good contributor, and a good leader. How to be a good human.”

The initial recipient of the CHS Undergraduate Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes undergraduate alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their fields, is Thomas Corbett, MHA, who graduated in 2018 with a degree in Clinical Leadership and Management.

He went on to earn a Master of Health Administration and a certificate in Improving Healthcare Value from the UK College of Public Health in 2020. Now, he serves as the Director of Operational Performance at MUSC Community Physicians (MCP) in South Carolina.

“The College brought me into who I am today,” he said. “General guidance. Tips. Tidbits. The world of healthcare can be kind of scary. Now we need to help the students. It’s our duty. They’re going to be taking care of us someday.”

The topic of mentors came up often during the ceremony.

Each recipient noted how they were shaped and influenced by their professors — and each also described how they have returned the favor by teaching and mentoring students as a part of their current careers.

“One of the beautiful things about this College is there are so many people who love each other,” Baez said.

“I want to express my gratitude,” Fritz said. “I am deeply grateful to all my mentors.”

Scott Lephart, PhD, professor and Dean of the College of Health Sciences, congratulated the trio, and thanked them for continuing to represent CHS so well.

“Congratulations, again, to our recipients: These three are wonderful examples of the talent produced in this College,” he said. “Every day, they are living our mission, and they are role models for us all.”