UTHSC Helps Place Memphian in National Competition

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As a result of the involvement of UTHSC, Memphis recently had a medal winner in the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) for Excellence in Education.

As a result of the involvement of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Memphis had a medal winner in the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) for Excellence in Education, July 10-14 in Miami, Fla.

Jada Johnson, a senior at Central High School, won third place at the national competition for her project, “What are Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease in African-American Women?” This marked the first time a student from Memphis received a medal in the science (biology) category in 27 years, and the first time UTHSC”s Eldridge Johnson, MD, served as Memphis science project director. In addition to the medal, Johnson received $1,000 and a laptop computer.

“It”s an exciting time right now and we are so proud of Jada,” said Dr. Johnson, professor of anatomy & neurobiology in the UT College of Medicine. “We have students preparing for next year with aspirations of winning it all.”

Besides biology, students competed in architecture, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics/electronics, physics/energy, and physics/general.

UTHSC was host to the regional ACT-SO competition in March, where Johnson earned first-place honors to advance to the nationals.

Dr. Johnson credits city science teachers and principals, community leaders, the NAACP, the ACT-SO committee and UTHSC in this endeavor.

UTHSC has been helping minority and disadvantaged students through its Health Career Programs since 1985, challenging students to pursue educational opportunities. Some minority summer enrichment programs have been available on campus since the 1970s.