The University of Tennessee Health Science Center will present degrees to 137 new health care professionals December 12, during its 2019 Winter Commencement at 1 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis.
Four graduates from the College of Dentistry, 14 from the College of Graduate Health Sciences, 25 from the College of Health Professions, 30 from the College of Medicine, including 29 from the Physician Assistant Program, and 64 from the College of Nursing will receive their degrees at the ceremony. UTHSC’s Chancellor Steve Schwab, MD, will confer the degrees.
Alexandra Box will be graduating with her BSN degree after 17 months of study. Before embarking on a nursing career path, Box taught through Teach for America as a special education teacher. She chose UTHSC because of the accelerated options, the variety of clinical experiences, and the university’s positive reputation.
“Our clinical exposure served to solidify the learning in the classroom and connect the theories from our textbook and lectures with practice,” she said. “Furthermore, we were provided with diverse hospital settings to allow us to learn our own preferences in the different fields of nursing.”
Box, a St. Louis, Missouri native, was president of the Nursing Student Government Association and the nursing representative for the Student Government Association Executive Council at UTHSC.
“Our class is composed of individuals from all over the country — from Alaska and California, all the way to Massachusetts and North Carolina, with many places in between,” she said. “The program has proven to be a great fit for students who are attending immediately after college, as well as those who have had professional experience in a variety of fields. I have found a great deal of value in the different experiences and backgrounds of the students in our class, because everyone brings a different set of perspectives and skills that enhance the learning experience.
Currently an extern on the Solid Tumor/Neuro-Oncology in-patient floor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Box plans to sit for her NCLEX licensure exam after graduation and become a pediatric oncology nurse at St. Jude.
Tim Tucker, PharmD, FAPhA, who is the owner and lead pharmacist of City Drug Company in Huntingdon, Tennessee, and is also president of the UT Alumni Association, will offer remarks and welcome the students as alumni. Serving more than 387,000 alumni from five different campuses, the UT Alumni Association has been active since 1836, making it one of the oldest alumni associations in the country.