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SELMA – Selma’s Mikal Kirchner has been honored by California State University, Fresno’s College of Health and Human Services with a 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Award.

Kirchner is Selma’s Recreation and Community Services director and has been in that position for the past 23 years. As such, he’s responsible for Selma’s parks, green space and recreation programs for old and young alike.

“People need outlets and fun ways to help balance their life from work, school, stress or whatever the case may be. The opportunities that Selma’s Recreation Department provides are endless, affordable and help build the quality of life for each community.”

Kirchner was one of nine recognized at a ceremony Nov. 9 and said he’s grateful to Fresno State Recreation Administration Department Chair Samuel Lankford, and all of the staff, for the award.

“I had a great experience at Fresno State and the program continues to prepare students very well for the real world,” he said.

Kirchner earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Administration in 1989 at CSUF and often comes back to speak with current students in the field. His support for the students is paramount as he assists in providing internships and professional development opportunities for students wanting to attend the annual California Parks and Recreation Society conference.

He said helping and encouraging future recreation professionals is simply the best way he can give back to the community and profession.

“I enjoy giving back to the program and I thank my uncle and father who had originally created a scholarship fund. Upon their passing, my wife and I were able to transfer the remaining funds to the program. It’s also nice to know that a student from Selma is in the program and will be graduating soon and has taken advantage of this scholarship. Thank you to the City of Selma for allowing me to work and live here and continued success at Fresno State.”

The honorees were nominated by each of the departments, centers and institutes within the College of Health and Human Services, representing a wide range of disciplines.

“We are honored to recognize our 2018 health and human services heroes, each of whom can be defined as advocates, trailblazers and humanitarians,” Dean Jody Hironaka-Juteau said. “Through their inspiring work, they are contributing to a healthier, more thriving Central Valley region.”

The other 2018 Health and Human Services Heroes included:

Erica Alexander, public health nurse

Danella Barnes-Penman, former Sanger Unified School District physical education teacher

Connie Clendenan, former Valley Teen Ranch CEO

Cynthia Fuller, physical therapist

David Luchini, Fresno County Department of Public Health assistant director

Bethanie Mills, senior manager of patient access, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Central California

Lupe Mirelez, Community Regional Medical Center NICU nurse

Courtney Young, Community Regional Medical Center speech-language pathologist

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