LEARNING

 

Dr. Sam Selinger’s education reads – Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California at San Francisco and Community Colleges of Spokane.
Say again?

“My first official introduction to the community colleges was Computer Kindergarten – a night class I took at the Hillyard Center,” Dr. Selinger recalls.  “It was wonderful!” Computer Kindergarten, and subsequent exposure to what CCS offers students and the community, resulted in Dr. Selinger, with his wife, Rosemary, establishing the Selinger Career Transitions Endowment and Scholarship Fund with the CCS Foundation.

Several years ago, the thoracic surgeon wanted to help people gain easier access to health care, but learned quickly he was short on a vital presentation tool. He wasn’t computer savvy. The talented MD turned back the educational clock and enrolled in Computer Kindergarten, a computer basics class offered at the community colleges’ Hillyard Center.

GIVING

 

“I wanted to help people get health resources in various ways, and I saw how people were using computers to make compelling presentations. I needed to do that, but I knew nothing about computers.”
Computer Kindergarten led to a second class, and finally, his capstone class, PowerPoint.  After that, he was preparing presentations like a pro.
Rosemary Selinger unknowingly enrolled in the second class with him.  Translation: He told her she was going to a computer class when they were half-way across town on their way to that class. “He signed me up with absolutely no consultation.  I was furious!” she reminds him. None the less, the Selinger’s connection to CCS was solidified.

We had known faculty at the colleges and quickly realized what a tremendous value the colleges are, Mrs. Selinger said.  “Having grown up in England, I was familiar with vocational programs in particular – where after two or three years you could get a very good job. It’s tremendous.”

Dr. and Rosemary Selinger

GIVING

 

“I wanted to help people get health resources in various ways, and I saw how people were using computers to make compelling presentations. I needed to do that, but I knew nothing about computers.”
Computer Kindergarten led to a second class, and finally, his capstone class, PowerPoint.  After that, he was preparing presentations like a pro.
Rosemary Selinger unknowingly enrolled in the second class with him. Translation: He told her she was going to a computer class when they were half-way across town on their way to that class. “He signed me up with absolutely no consultation.  I was furious!” she reminds him. None the less, the Selinger’s connection to CCS was solidified.

We had known faculty at the colleges and quickly realized what a tremendous value the colleges are, Mrs. Selinger said.  “Having grown up in England, I was familiar with vocational programs in particular – where after two or three years you could get a very good job. It’s tremendous.”

SUSTAINING

 

Dr. Selinger took note of community college graduates during his career as a cardiothoracic surgeon, describing Spokane Community College’s allied health programs as being so important to the medical community in and around Spokane, exclaiming “It’s really quite exciting.” 

In 2008, the Selingers established the scholarship and endowment fund.
As Dr. Selinger describes it, the scholarship endowment is a niche where “we feel we are changing people’s lives, helping them get into the workforce and helping them get the skills they need just as much as I needed computer skills at that point in my life. It worked.”

The Selinger’s fund generously provides scholarships to people who have completed the colleges’ Career Transition program. The six-week program prepares people whose life circumstances prevent them from attending college or getting training they need to enter a career path.

“We kind of see it as a circle,” says Rosemary. “We find that more and more in life.  There is a circle, and your biggest hope, of course, is that someone else will continue giving. Really, that is what it’s all about.  You put these funds together and they become very powerful.
“Our desire is to make some change in the community, improve things for others.  The community has been so good to us.  We’ve benefited so greatly living and working in Spokane. It’s nice to give a little bit back and make a difference, we hope.”