BSA Banquet Honors Outstanding UTHSC Students

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Eight student leaders were honored at the 2019 BSA Awards Banquet. They are, from left, Tierney Jordan, Karen Ann Martin, Tamika Douglas, Chassidy Grimes, Bria Sharp, Karen Merriweather, Alicia Rogers, and Kiera Crutcher. (Photo by Antoine Lever of A. Lever Studio)

The Black Student Association (BSA) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center honored eight outstanding students Friday evening at its Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet.    

Held in the OD Larry Dining Hall of the Student-Alumni Center, the banquet included a keynote address by Judy C. Martin, PhD, FNP-BC, chief nursing officer for the Shelby County Health Department since 2003. Dr. Martin received her PhD from the UTHSC College Nursing, and is the first African American to earn a PhD in nursing from a Tennessee university.

Students honored were nominated by their colleges for scholarship, leadership, and community service. They are:

Karen Merriweather, College of Dentistry

Merriweather has been recognized with several scholarships from the College of Dentistry. She is an active mentor for Tennessee Institute for Pre-Professionals (TIP), which works with prospective health science students. She is certified in a formal training in poverty medicine called Serving the Underserved. Recently, Merriweather was a volunteer in the Mid-South Mission of Mercy, and is an active member of the American Student Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, the secretary of the Student National Dental Association, the D4 representative of the American Association for Women Dentists, a Spanish tutor for the Hispanic Student Dental Association, and president of the Black Student Association.

Karen Ann Martin, College of Graduate Health Sciences

Growing up in Jamaica, Martin earned a teaching diploma and worked as a teacher for three years before completing her BSc and MSc degrees in communication disorders at Western Carolina University. As a Speech and Hearing Science PhD student, Martin has completed three research projects and is working on her dissertation. Martin has presented her research in conferences throughout the country, including to the American Auditory Society, the CI Crash Conference, the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, and the American Academy of Audiology. In addition to her research, Martin serves as a course instructor for undergraduate students and works part time as a clinician.

Kiera Crutcher, College of Health Professions

Crutcher has served as the president of the Pi Theta Epsilon, Delta Zeta Chapter, Occupational Therapy Honor Society. She completed the Serving the Underserved poverty medicine training program. Crutcher has excelled in her fieldwork placements at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System in Jackson, Mississippi, and Southern Hand Centers in Memphis. She has been described by her fieldwork educators as “a joy to supervise,” and as a student who demonstrates outstanding professionalism and initiative.

Tamika Douglas, College of Health Professions

Douglas, a senior Master of Health Informatics and Information Management student, was selected by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as one of 25 students across the country to serve as an ambassador at the organization’s 90th Annual Meeting in Miami. Douglas is a licensed medical technologist and works full-time at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Diagnostics Laboratory. She volunteers with the Music City Riders United, a group that advocates for bus riders, bus drivers, and mechanics in Nashville. Douglas has done more than 150 hours of community service and has been involved with more than 20 community events and speaking engagements about pedestrian and commuter safety in Nashville.

Tierney Jordan, College of Health Professions

A student in the Cytotechnology/Histotechnology Program, Jordan is involved in a number of service initiatives at the university, as well as in the community. She is a UTHSC Honor Council representative. She is a volunteer for the Angel Tree project, which raises money for children whose parents are in prison. She is also a volunteer for Feed the Homeless, the AARP Seniors Meal Pack Challenge, and the Summer Feeding Program at Zion Temple Church of God in Christ. She serves as a camp instructor in the Elder Clarence L. Randle Summer Institute. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University and is giving back to her alma mater by being a virtual mentor in the Tennessee State University TLSAMP mentor program.

Chassidy Grimes, College of Medicine

Grimes has served as the class secretary during all four years of her training. She also elected to serve her classmates as a SASSl-approved tutor for multiple first- and second-year courses and for Step 1 board preparations. She is a tour guide for Medical School admissions at UTHSC. Grimes completed a summer research fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and has a cumulative GPA at UTHSC of 3.78. The College of Medicine recently honored her by naming her the Dr. Ed Reed Scholar, an award given on the basis of merit and diversity.

Bria Danielle Sharp, College of Nursing

Sharp has emerged as a leader in her college serving in many key roles including secretary for the Student Nurses Association, member of the Nursing Honor Council, and vice president of the Nursing Student Government Association. She is also active in community service projects supporting institutions including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Nashville’s Hope Lodge, and Lipscomb Missions. In addition, she serves as a student tutor and volunteer for the College of Nursing.

Alicia Rogers, College of Pharmacy

Rogers will graduate in May with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, as well as a certificate in Nuclear Pharmacy. She has served as president of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA, 2017-2018) and vice chair of the Operation Heart Committee for the College of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter (2015-2016). She also holds memberships in Phi Lambda Sigma and Kappa Psi pharmaceutical fraternities. Rogers been the recipient of the Cardinal Health Nuclear Scholarship (2018), the University Scholars Scholarship (2016, 2017, 2018), and the Tennessee Diversity Scholarship (2015).