Paul Harris Fellow Award – Cathleen S Colon-Emeric

Area Foundation Chairman Dallas Stallings presented a Paul Harris Fellow to Doctor Cathleen Colon-Emric, the daughter of Rotarian Harvey Sellner and his wife Calla. Here is the presentation that Dallas delivered.

She was born into a family where the values of Rotary’s mottos, “Service Above Self” and “Doing Good In the World” were always articulated in life style and practice even though at that time there was no Rotarian in the family.  From an early age she began to pattern her own life  around these same values, a life style that has followed her from childhood to professional life.

She was first introduced to Rotary by volunteering for four years with her junior scout troop serving pancakes at the annual Rotary Community holiday pancake breakfast.  “Service Above Self.”  As a Girl Scout she continued to take the idea of service seriously by working with younger Scouts, teaching them camping skills and then taking them camping to practice the skills they had practiced  — and no matter the kind of weather present on those camping trips.  As a Senior Scout she became the leader of a younger troop of girls, instilling in them the same love of scouting that she had.  Using her love of singing and organizational skills, she often led fellow scouts in camp fire sing-a-longs, eventually leading to a Council-wide song fest for 1200 Girl Scouts….”Doing Good in the World.”  And as a parent scouting was never far from her mind as she changed from green of Girl Scouts to the Kahaki of Boy Scouts as she and her husband worked along side their two sons on their trail to the Eagle Scout Award.

In High School she was selected as program director for an international Girl Scout/Girl Guide Wider Opportunity which led to her receiving  Girl Scouting’s highest award   — The Gold Award.  Again, “Doing Good in the World.”

Upon graduating as Valedictorian, she headed to Cornell where she continued her life of service and where she selected as her dorm a community of students where volunteering in the community was emphasized.  Following Cornell our recipient  became a Big Sister in Baltimore while in graduate school at John Hopkins Medical School and today here in Durham she continues to live the values of service in her professional work, still putting “Service Above Self.”

Today she is a professor of medicine and Division Chair of Geriatrics, specializing in geriatrics,  at Duke Medical Center and VA Hospitals where she places emphasis in the areas of male osteoporosis and hip fractures.  Still “Doing Good in the World.”

Today on behalf of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and her parents I am pleased to Award a Paul Harris Fellowship to Dr. Cathleen Colon-Emeric and I invite her to come forward with her parents Harvey and Calla

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