Clayton Treska, a San Diego State University senior, is nothing short of an inspiration.
In addition to being a United States Marine Corps veteran, he is also a cancer survivor and Ironman triathlete.
After Treska's battle with a potentially terminal form of cancer, he enrolled at SDSU and has been making waves ever since.
Last night Treska was honored with the 2013-14 The Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Award for Outstanding Achievement and will receive a $10,000 scholarship award next year.
"I'm still at a loss for words," Treska said. "The trials and tribulations of life have proven worth while because they have brought about so much hope for others going through similar hardships."
About the award
The Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Award for Outstanding Achievement is given each year to students who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardships and have attributes of merit, including superior academic performance, exemplary community service and significant personal achievements.
CSU trustrees' scholars are nominated by their campus president. Each campus selects one scholar, and a committee formed by the CSU Foundation reviews the nominations and awards students additional honors through named scholarship. The top two highest scoring students receive the Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi scholarship, named for the longtime program supporter and champion.
"CSU trustees' scholars have defied the odds, rising above circumstance to become leaders among their classmates and exemplifying the CSU mission of access to a quality higher education," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. "Through talent, determination and drive they now grasp the promise of a brighter future — for self, family and community."
Treska attributes his success to his support system at SDSU.
"This definitely wasn't a sole effort — nothing would have been possible without the help and support of the SDSU staff," Treska said. "It has been a long journey, but the reality is that these sacrifices have brought about the potential to help others, and therefore make it all well worth it in the end."
Improving cancer protocol
Through an internship at the University of California, San Diego, Treska is currently working on improving patient care in several clinical areas, including cancer treatment protocols. His job is to find a way to support process improvement activities with a focus on several clinical areas, including cancer.
"I hope my initiative will encourage others to strive toward overcoming the seemingly insurmountable, because we know that despite the odds against us, if we work as a team, nothing is impossible."