Brian R.

Graduate Recipient

"Name someone who has been a source of inspiration and support to you as you navigate your journey with CF, and describe this inspiration and support. This role model could be anyone, whether it is a public figure, someone else with CF, and advocate in the CF community, a personal mentor, family member or friend. As part of your essay, please also explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

My greatest source of inspiration and support through my journey with CF is my wife, Chepina. We met when we were undergraduates in college, and one of the first things we did together was go for runs. I know that there was a time when she struggled to come to terms with my having CF, but she has embraced the realities of marrying someone with CF and has gracefully incorporated my challenges into her life.

I had never truly neglected my CF medications and therapies, but I found a higher level of inspiration to persevere through hours of treatment once we started dating. I embraced new treatments that I previously wrote off as too time-consuming. Imagining a long life with her continues to be one of the most reliable ways I can remind myself to do my therapies when I want to go to bed, or to go for a run even when I’m not feeling great. Her work ethic is also a model that I look to for inspiration, whether for CF-related challenges or any other tasks I have.

My creative submission reflects the importance of exercise, especially running, to my ability to maintain my health. When I go for runs, I try to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings, and each of the three photos are ones I have taken along roads near my house where I run. Each photo has an accompanying haiku written by me, which reflect my thoughts before, during, and after a run.


Brian R.'s Artwork

Brian R.'s Achievements

  • Board member, Manhattan (KS) Alliance for Peace and Justice, 2015-present
  • Research intern, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ, 2015
  • Committee member, Peace, Service, and Witness committee, Manhattan (KS) Mennonite Church, 2014-present
  • University Graduate Fellowship, University of Kansas, 2014-2015
  • Research Intern, The Land Institute, Salina, KS, 2014
  • National Science Foundation IGERT fellowship, 2013-2014
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of History, University of Kansas, 2012-2013
  • John Gagliardo Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of History, University of Kansas, 2013
  • Member, Phi Alpha Theta (history honor society), 2009-present