Albertus alumna Lesley M. Hudson, M.A. (1970) will receive the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award" of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) at the 2013 annual scientific meeting next May in Chicago. Ms. Hudson, who is current Executive Director of the association, has been a member of its administrative staff since 1980. She is also Project Director for the Southeastern Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System Program at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, where she has been on staff since 1976. "This is ASIA's most notable award," said President Lawrence Vogel, M.D., "and the Board of Directors voted unanimously to present it to Lesley Hudson in 2013, which is significant because the association will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year." Dr. Vogel added that: " During her tenure with ASIA, no single individual has had a greater influence on the development of the organization." In addition to her ASIA career, Lesley is a founding staff member at Shepherd Center, the largest spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation facility in the nation. She began her work there as administrative director in 1976, and founded several departments and programs during the early years of its development. In 1982, she wrote the first successful grant application for a federal designation (U.S. Department of Education) that would name Shepherd Center as a "model system of care" for individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury. She has been project director of that grant program continuously since 1982. Co-project director and founding Shepherd Center Medical Director David F. Apple, Jr., M.D. noted that "there are few people in the field of spinal cord injury medicine who have had the significant long term impact that Lesley Hudson has. Her skill set is remarkable and Shepherd Center and ASIA have benefited from her dedication." Ms. Hudson also began a quarterly medical journal, in partnership with Dr. Apple, in 1993, and served as managing editor until last year. "Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation" is one of the most popular professional journals in the field of spinal cord injury medicine.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for professionals in spinal cord injury whose impact on the field is unique, quantifiable, and life long. Lesley is the 23rd person, and the first woman, to be so honored. She was an English major at Albertus, with a minor in French and Education. She was the first student elected graduation speaker in 1970, and went on to earn a Master's degree in English at the University of Rhode Island, her home state, before moving South to Georgia in 1975. She is a widow, and has twin daughters who are juniors in college