Gurnick Academy Student Awarded 2020 CAPPS Memorial Scholarship

Akram Shafik and Family

A Gurnick Academy student was awarded a 2020 CAPPS Memorial Scholarship. Akram Shafik, currently enrolled in the Associate of Occupational Science (A.O.S.) in Radiologic Technology program, received this year's California Association for Private and Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) Memorial Scholarship, the Mike Mikhail Memorial Scholarship for Recent Immigrants and First-Generation Americans, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, at the Van Nuys campus. 

James Murrell, Van Nuys Campus Director and Executive Program Director for the Radiologic Technology program, presented the award in front of faculty, fellow students, and his family. 

Shafik, a native of Cairo, Egypt, worked as a high-school and middle-school teacher for nearly 18 years before immigrating from the Middle East in 2012. With a desire to reinvent himself, Shafik initially enrolled in 2017 into Brightwood College, then entered the RT program in 2020. 

"One thing that sets Shafik apart is that he's such a hard worker," said Murrell. "He's so willing to help other students in his class." With coursework in various core sciences, including radiological safety, physics, and medical terminology, it is a 24-month associate degree program. 

Shafik has surmounted many obstacles to make it this far in his program. Besides attending a full-time radiologic technology program, he also works at a full-time job, all the while juggling his familial commitments at home. In his native Arabic language, he assists his fellow recent immigrant students in taking the program with him. Often, they have late-night study sessions and start their next day as early as 4:00 a.m.  

Presentation onlookers included Shafik's wife, Sarah, his two young daughters, and his brother-in-law (who happens to be a Limited X-Ray Technician student at Gurnick Academy himself).

The award is in memory of the late Mohsen "Mike" Aziz Mikhail, a first-generation American and native of Cairo, Egypt. In 1966, "Mike boarded a plane to America with a dream and $11 in his pocket. After arriving in America, Mike worked as a CPA and held controller-like positions at both public and proprietary educational institutions." 

Shafik said two quotes that have been mantras for him in life and he feels apply to this award are, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," along with "when life gives you lemons, make pink lemonade." (Pink lemonade because it shows thinking outside the box.)

Nov. 8-14, 2020, is National Radiologic Technology Week, which commemorates the important role of medical imaging and radiation therapy in healthcare.1 To learn more about Gurnick Academy's Radiologic Technology program, visit For specific programs at the Van Nuys' Campus, go here

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Gurnick Academy is a private, post-secondary educational institution operating six campuses across Northern California and Van Nuys, California. Gurnick offers allied health, nursing, and medical imaging programs, including Radiologic Technology, MRI, Ultrasound Technology, Physical Therapy Assisting, Vocational Nursing, BSN, Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, and a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Imaging.                                                                        

1 Unknown, "CAPPS Memorial Scholarships,", 10/29/2020.

Source: Gurnick Medical Academy


Categories: Healthcare

Tags: CAPPS scholarship, first-generation Americans, healthcare, san mateo county health, students

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The mission of Gurnick Academy is to offer quality allied-health, nursing and medical imaging programs that integrate academics, career-focused education & hands-on experience, empowering students to develop and achieve their personal & career goals.

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