Nicole C. Rushford
California State University, San Marcos
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement
Born into a closely-knit family, Nicole Rushford has been highly impacted by the challenges faced by her younger sister who is brain injured and deaf. Nicole became a patient advocate for her sister throughout countless hospitalizations, and her family uses sign language to communicate. Homeschooled until fourth grade, Nicole participated in a number of extracurricular activities in high school including the art and Spanish clubs and track and field. After graduating from high school, she traveled alone to Australia and, shortly after returning, met her future husband; they were married when he returned from his first deployment in Iraq. In 2006, Nicole and her husband became active in the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training fundraising effort. This experience encouraged Nicole to refocus and complete her college degree. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in kinesiology at CSU San Marcos. As a senior, she maintains a 3.95 cumulative GPA and expects to graduate in spring 2010.