LHU professor receives award for work with AIDS Resource

PHOTO PROVIDED LHU professor, Dr. Rick Schulze, was recently recognized for his work with AIDS Resource.

LOCK HAVEN– Lock Haven University health science professor, Dr. Rick Schulze, was recognized with the Visionary Leadership Award at the AIDS Resource 30th anniversary gala held at the Acacia Club in Williamsport this summer.

The Visionary Leadership Award was created by staff members to recognize Schulze’s tireless dedication and inspired leadership to the organization. Schulze has been involved with AIDS Resource for 25 years and said he was touched and surprised to learn of his award. He also noted that his work at LHU and service with the organization regularly connect.

“I have placed students at AIDS Resource for field experiences and at least one was hired by the agency,” Schulze said. “As a health education specialist, I have been able to apply my professional background to assist AIDS Resource with community health assessments, client needs assessments and program design.”

Schulze also has taken students to the Society for Public Health Education Annual Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., and recently accompanied the Public Health Club to this year’s summit.

“In 2016, I was able to apply the skills I learned at the summit to an advocacy project regarding continued funding for AIDS Resource,” Schulze said. “Later, the AIDS Resource director and I even presented a webinar on the advocacy project for other health education specialists and later presented a poster at the 2017 National AIDS Conference.”

Kirsten Burkhart, AIDS Resource executive director, said Schulze has been instrumental in the evolution of AIDS Resource.

“Never content with the status quo, he is tirelessly researching development opportunities, creating new programs and striving to ensure that AIDS Resource is a leader in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. As medical developments continually transform the landscape of HIV and AIDS, he has worked to ensure that our programs are relevant and meeting the ever-changing needs of our clients,” Burkhart said before presenting Schultz with his award during the gala.

Schulze said LHU has provided him with a supportive work environment and encourages its faculty to connect with the community. “The community and public health education major is all about working with groups in the region. I’m thankful for this opportunity with AIDS Resource. Kirsten Burkhart has been such a great resource for me. It’s very rewarding to feel like I am making some difference.”

“The AIDS Resource staff, board and clients are deeply grateful to Dr. Schulze for his tireless work on our behalf,” Burkhart said.

Approximately 100 people, including board members, staff and community supporters were in attendance at the gala. Keynote speaker was Ethan Zohn, winner of TV’s Survivor: Africa, Grassroot Soccer co-founder, sports commentator and global philanthropist.