2011 UCB, Inc. Rheumatoid Arthritis Family Scholarship(TM) Winners Announced

Published: Dec 01, 2011

ATLANTA, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- UCB, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on immunology treatments and research, today announced the 30 recipients of the 2011 UCBRheumatoid Arthritis Family Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes outstanding individuals from across the country who are pursuing higher education as part of their efforts to live beyond the limitations of rheumatoid arthritis.

"UCB is dedicated to go beyond making a difference in the lives of people affected by rheumatoid arthritis," said Sue Curro, Vice President, Patient Solutions, UCB, Inc. "We are determined not only to provide therapies to help treat this condition, but also provide assistance each year to some of the outstanding individuals working to achieve their academic ambitions and to reach beyond the limitations of rheumatoid arthritis."

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that mainly involves inflammation of the joints, including small joints in hands and feet. RA affects more than 1.3 million Americans, and it is estimated that 5 million people suffer from RA globally. RA can cause painful swelling that can interrupt daily activities and may eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

With over 600 applicants, UCB awarded scholarships to 29 people living with RA and one daughter caring for her mother with the chronic condition. The winners were selected not only for their personal excellence and commitment to their communities, but also for their demonstrated determination to live beyond the boundaries of RA, as shown in their applications, letters of recommendation and personal essays. Each recipient will receive a one year scholarship worth up to $10,000 for tuition at colleges, graduate schools and technical schools across the country.

This year's recipients will be honored on UCB's Reach Beyond RA website. To see photos and quotes from the 2011 recipients, and to learn more about the UCBRheumatoid Arthritis Family Scholarship Program, please go to http://www.reachbeyondra.com/scholarship.

30 Winners, 30 Unique Stories

The winners of the 2011 UCB Rheumatoid Arthritis Family Scholarship Program have all overcome significant challenges and achieved impressive accomplishments. Among them are:

  • Alison Boyle, a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Public Health, who is dedicated to educating others about RA and encourages people living with RA to live a full life.
  • Julianne Capron, an active volunteer at her church, school and local homeless shelter, devoted to helping people in her community and raising money for arthritis patient groups.
  • Yulian Navarro Cordero,a motivated mother of two, dedicated to helping people living with chronic conditions and pursing a doctorate in educational leadership.
  • Evan Corey, a former star basketball player with a positive outlook, who focuses his talents on writing and academics, along with his passion for sports.
  • Megan Girsch, an athlete, dancer and gymnast with a passion for wildlife and environmental conservation, who is working toward completing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology and environmental sciences.
  • Marie Hilferty, a successful fitness instructor and personal trainer is taking her teaching ability to the fourth grade classroom as she pursues a degree in elementary education.
  • Nicole Jagodzinski, a loving mother, church volunteer and dedicated student pursuing a degree in occupational therapy.
  • Karen Lane,a top student, determined to accomplish anything she sets her mind to and is the first member of her family to earn a college degree.
  • Brian Pack,an honor student, Eagle Scout and sports enthusiast with a passion for helping others living with RA, including coordinating local walks and volunteering at family RA camps.
  • Callie Phillips, a young and ambitious college volleyball coach and special education teacher who serves as an advocate and motivator for her students.

Additional Winners and Their Selected Learning Institution:

Melanie Allen

University of Connecticut

Samantha Bell

University of Washington

Kallie Biermaier

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Alisa Duncan

Napa Valley College

Kaye Eicher

Wayne State College

Samantha Friedman

University of New Hampshire

Miriah Gillispe

Marshall University

Ena Hodzic

University of California, San Diego

Allison Hom

University of California, Davis

Mariah Melin

University of Minnesota

Deepti Nair

University of South Florida

Cynthia Seidel

Seattle University

Kelly Slauson

University of Portland

Michele Tapper-Racine

University at Massachusetts Dartmouth

Heather Van Diest-Kolb

Tiffin University

Christine Ventrella

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jennifer Zieglmeier

College of Western Idaho

About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects more than 1.3 million Americans, and it is estimated that 5 million people suffer from RA globally. Prevalence is not split evenly between genders, since women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Although RA can affect people of all ages, the onset of the disease usually occurs between 35-55 years of age.

For Further Information:
Andrea Levin, Senior PR Manager, US Communications and Public Relations
T (770) 970-8352, Andrea.Levin@ucb.com

About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb-usa.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8,500 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2010. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate fluctuations and hiring and retention of its employees.


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