Nexus White Coat and Tassel Ceremony Provides Hope and Emphasizes Significance of STEM to the Community

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Sixth graders from the Nexus STEM Academy stand to recite an oath give back to the community, to be accepting of others, and to nurture their love of STEM.

The Nexus White Coat and Tassel Ceremony was the first of its kind at UTHSC. Ninety-eight sixth graders who attend the Nexus Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy in Memphis received a white coat, UTHSC tassel, and took an oath to give back to the community, to be accepting of others, and to nurture their love of STEM.

The ceremony’s guest speaker was second-year College of Medicine student Hannah Ashitey. The Ghana, West Africa native spoke to the students about her personal journey, doing well in STEM classes, and how to be successful when dealing with personal setbacks.

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Second- year College of Medicine student Hannah Ashitey delivers a passionate charge to Nexus students, urging them to excel personally and academically.

The charter school, located at 8220 Shelby Drive, is part of the Gestalt Network and composed of a majority of minority students. UTHSC’s ultimate goal to forge a bond with the scholars and faculty of the school, shape the minds into believing that they will become part of this community, and nurture the love of STEM while highlighting the connection to career in the health sciences.

“We are hoping that the white coats are a symbolic statement of inspiration and motivation to the scholars, and continue to fuel their passion for all things STEM,” said Jos Coleman, MEd, TIP coordinator in the Office of Equity and educational specialist in Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion.

The event was held in  the Schreier Auditorium of the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center.