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IHDI's First Kevin Burberry Award Recipients Announced

by Jeff Worley

The first Paul Kevin Burberry Award recipients have been announced by UK's Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute (IHDI). The $500 awards, named in honor of an outstanding student at UK with disabilities, were presented to Tony LoBianco and Christy Howard-Potter.

Kevin, who was majoring in philosophy at UK, died in September 2003. He graduated posthumously with honors in May 2004. In addition to his studies, Kevin was involved in a variety of university and civic activities, including work as a consultant on a research project at IHDI.

"Kevin was such a shining star and source of inspiration for all people," says Harold Kleinert, IHDI executive director. "We are excited to be able to offer this award as a tribute to Kevin's accomplishments not only in the classroom, but also in life."

The award will be given annually to a student who has significant IHDI involvement—as a research assistant, a practicum student or a student in the graduate certificate program. Candidates must demonstrate a strong commitment to people with disabilities through university and community projects and experiences, demonstrate the leadership qualities exemplified by Burberry's own life, and demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence. This year's selection committee, which included Burberry's parents, Clyde David and Susan, decided to grant two awards due to the outstanding field of applicants.

Tony LoBianco, who earned a Ph.D. in political science from UK in 2001, recently received his master's degree in public health. At IHDI he was employed with the Pre-service Health Training Project, where he worked in collaboration with Kevin. LoBianco also produced interactive multimedia training for health-care professionals so they can more effectively serve and communicate with people with developmental disabilities.

"I am honored to be thought of as someone who embodies some of Kevin's qualities, and am thankful to have had the opportunity to know him," says LoBianco.

Christy Howard-Potter recently received her master's degree in social work at UK. During her four years at IHDI, she was involved in more than nine research, service and product-development activities. Her work included development of a community resource manual for families and consumers, which is distributed statewide in English and in Spanish.

"I am very honored to receive the award alongside my co-worker Tony LoBianco," says Howard-Potter. "To me, Kevin epitomizes sheer determination and illustrates the concept that you really can do anything you set your mind to. He continues to be an inspiration, and I am grateful to have had the pleasure of meeting him."

IHDI works to improve life opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through interdisciplinary training, research, technical assistance, community education and information dissemination.

To read more about Kevin, see the Spring 2001 Odyssey feature titled "Technology with the Human Touch."

Entire In Brief section as pdf