Patricia Ann Hite
San Diego State University
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
When Patricia Ann Hite was eight years old, doctors discovered she had von Hippel-Lindau syndrome. As a result, she had numerous eye surgeries and brain surgery, and missed a large amount of high school. When she lost her eyesight completely in October 2001, she also lost an entire year of school. However, she returned with new determination and tenacity, and in May 2004 she graduated from community college and transferred to San Diego State. At SDSU, she met many professors within the theatre department who changed her life. They believed in her and encouraged her abilities, and saw "Patricia" before they saw her disability. One of her many accomplishments has been the founding of a student-run theatre organization called Broken Dolls: Theatre of Adversity, which strives to prove that those who face adversity are not "broken." Patricia graduated this past spring with a BA in theatre arts, with an emphasis in performance, and began the theatre arts MA program at San Diego State this fall. Her goal is to establish a day camp for disabled children to show them that they can participate in the arts and accomplish anything they set their mind to.