2013 International Volunteer of the Year

Mrs. Alma Robichaud

Since 1993, Alma Robichaud, a native of the Philippines, has served as a volunteer for the Palmetto Hospice Program, which provides a team of professionals and volunteers to address the medical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their family members. In fact, Mrs. Robichaud has become the face of Palmetto Hospice, as indicated by her photo being used on the front of a recent hospice brochure.

A full-time mother of two teenage daughters, Alma Robichaud has none-the-less given the program over 2000 hours, greeting new patients, sitting with patients so that their regular care-givers and family members can take needed breaks, and celebrating the lives of patients who have died. She has also helped with fundraising activities for the program.

Mrs. Robichaud has also assisted at Brett’s Rainbow Bereavement Camp, which offers a free camping experience to children ages 5-18 who have experienced the death of a family member. Alma has stayed overnight with some of these children and participated in their activities at the camp. Now her own daughters volunteer with her, when their school activities allow.

In addition to these activities, Alma Robichaud has served for several years as a regular volunteer for the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia. She is actively involved as a performer and technical assistant with the Association’s Cultural Dance Troupe, which provides cultural performances at various community events.

 2013 International Professional of the Year

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D. is currently the Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina.

In this capacity, he oversees $238 million research enterprise. Dr. Nagarkatti hails from India

and moved to the United States in 1983. He worked as a faculty member and undertook several

leadership roles at the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University,

before joining USC in 2005. He is an internationally renowned scientist in the area of inflammation

and its impact on cancer and autoimmune diseases.