A Closer Look at the 2017 Founders’ Day Awardees

Bastyr Founder's Award dinner at the Museum of Pop Culture, MoPOP

The Founders' Awards Dinner commemorates our historical legacy, celebrates our accomplishments and the 2017 Mission and Founders award recipients. This year’s event took place on Saturday, November 4th, at the Museum of Pop Culture, MoPOP. Individuals were recognized for their leadership in improving the health and well-being of the greater community.

Mission Award

This year’s recipient of the Mission Award is the Sodhi family and Ayush Herbs. Bastyr’s most prestigious honor acknowledges this generous family, three members of which -- Virender, Shalinder, and Anju -- are Bastyr alumni.

In 2013, the Sodhi's helped found Bastyr’s Ayurvedic degree program which offers the first accredited Master of Science in Ayurvedic Sciences in the country. Virender Sodhi, ND, was the first Ayurvedic and naturopathic physician in the U.S. and has taught at the University of Washington Department of Pharmacy, and at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. In addition to their work bringing the Ayurvedic program to Bastyr,  the Sodhi family also founded Ayush Herbs in 1988. Later this month the Sodhi’s are launching a crowdfunding campaign to support Bastyr’s Integrative Oncology Research program.

"By supporting the work of the Integrative Oncology Research program at Bastyr, we know that more natural medicines can be tested, more clinical trials can be conducted, more data, more proof to bring to the FDA for approval so that these natural healing modalities can eventually be covered by conventional health insurance companies, thus making these treatments available to a much wider audience of patients,” the family states.

Founders’ Awards

Alongside the Mission Award, Bastyr honors four individuals with founders’ awards to recognize their outstanding personal achievement, leadership and loyal service to the University and to the field of natural health arts and sciences.

Zamir Brown, Les Griffith, ND, Student Award recipient, attributes this recognition to dedication and community. He states, “being dedicated requires one to give everything they have for what they believe in. To be dedicated requires sacrifices to be made. Being dedicated requires you to put in more than you did yesterday and go further than you believe you can tomorrow.” Brown founded the Bastyr Student Union and served as an intern for the Integrative Health Policy Consortium's Environment and Health Committee, for Bastyr's Center for Health Policy Leadership.

Ben Lynch, ND (‘07), the Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr., ND, Alumnus/a Award recipient, has achieved distinction in his field and has rendered exceptional service to Bastyr. He hopes to help bridge the gap between naturopathic and standard medicine and believes he’s “just getting started.” Lynch expresses his gratitude for this award and is honored to be a part of this Bastyr movement.

The Sheila Quinn Service to Society Awardee, Laurie Mischley, ND, MPH, PhD, is a prominent researcher and physician for patients with Parkinson’s disease and facilitated a Parkinson's Disease Camp this past summer at Bastyr University. The award is given to a faculty or staff member that provides outstanding leadership in volunteer service and civic engagement to their community and neighbors. Dr. Pizzorno introduced Dr. Mischley’s achievements saying. “I knew naturopathic medicine had arrived when I saw that Dr. Mischley received grant funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for her Parkinson’s disease research.”

Chris Masterson, MEd, William A. Mitchell, Jr, ND, Service Merit Awardee, has served Bastyr for almost 25 years and attributes her passion and drive to Bastyr’s students. In honor of Bill Mitchell, his daughter, Leah Mitchell, ND, said of Chris,”there is not a student who enters or leaves Bastyr whose life is not touched in some way by Chris, whether they are aware of it or not.” She has devoted her career to the success of students, retention, and Bastyr’s mission.


For more information about Bastyr University please visit www.bastyr.edu/founders or contact the Development Office at info@bastyr.edu.