Volume 1, Number 6 • August 2014
PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE SELECTS SEARCH FIRM
Search Committee Selects Spencer Stuart
After a Competitive Bid Process
WHITE COAT CEREMONIES AND PINNING CEREMONY HELD FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014
For stories and photos of all White Coat Ceremonies, and the SOGSR’s Pinning Ceremony, click here.
SOGSR PH.D. CANDIDATE HONORED WITH ESTEEMED AWARD FOR HER RESEARCH IN COLORECTAL CANCER
As the recipient of the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship (F31), Kelly Harris, M.S., a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Graduate Studies and Research, has been awarded $85,352 from the National Institutes of Health. These funds will fully support her Ph.D. training for the next two years in the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Meharry Medical College. Click here to read her story.
DENTAL STUDENT RECEIVES FELLOWSHIP TO CONDUCT RESEARCH IN ORAL CARE
Congratulations to Cassandra Stewart, third-year dental student, on being chosen as a member of the inaugural class of the ADEA/TheraBreath® Student Research Fellowships. Stewart was chosen as a fellow based on her abstract she submitted to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). Read more about her story.
THE ALPHAS LEND MUSCLE ON MOVING DAY AT MORENA PLACE I
Members of Alpha Phi Alpha help students on moving day.
The brothers of Meharry’s Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Chi Chapter, recently took on the role of “movers” for the first-year classes from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Graduate Studies and Research as they helped them relocate to Meharry’s the new on-campus apartments, Morena Place I.
Aubrey “A.J.” Grant, third-year medical student and president of the Alphas, was responsible for spearheading the “Meharrian Freshman Move-In-Day” project which took place on July 12, 2014. Grant and his nine frat brothers volunteered their time working more than 10 hours unloading boxes, suitcases, duffel bags and small items onto dollys and transporting them into the students’ new homes.
“The new apartments are fantastic and the students were eager to move into the building,” said Grant. “Moreover, we helped with the assembly of furniture, dressers and bed frames. All together, we assisted 42 students and their families.”
The Alphas are involved in many community service projects throughout the year as well.
Every year they host a Back to School Bash at the Nashville Boys and Girls Club at the Andrew Jackson Center. It’s a day of fun where children, from ages 5 to 12, receive school supplies, have their faces painted, eat “frozen fruit kabobs” and the boys may even get a new haircut.
At Thanksgiving, the brothers distribute frozen turkeys, canned goods, rolls and desserts to needy families in the Nashville community. Each Christmas the Alphas team up with the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, in a project known as “Phirst Pham” providing toys and Christmas gifts to families/children who might otherwise go without. And, in conjunction with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the “Fire and Ice Community Project” was launched. The Alphas and the Deltas team up and visit residents of the Bordeaux Long Term Care aging facility and offer them what they crave the most—company. Grant said they all learn something new and wise every time they visit.
Nice going, Greeks!
MEHARRY STUDENTS AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS TO ATTEND AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS
AAFP conference scholarship recipients with AAFP President Reid B. Blackwelder, M.D. (in background); TNAFP president, Kim Howerton, M.D. (fourth from left) and TNAFP executive director, Ms. Cathy Dyer (fifth from left)
Ten Meharry medical students were awarded scholarships through the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians to attend the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) conference in Kansas City, Missouri from August 7-9, 2014. The scholarship recipients are:
Fourth-year medical student, Christopher Watson, who served as the minority student delegate at the conference, was awarded the AAFP Tomorrow's Leadership Scholarship, while fourth-year medical student, Jean Mbachu, received the AAFP First-Time Attendees Award.
Congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients!
DR. HENRY A. MOSES RECOVERING AND
BACK AT WORK!
August 27, 2014
Dear Alumni, Friends and Colleagues
I will never be able to express my most humble, sincere and enhanced gratitude for your prayers, gifts, cards, calls, visits, food, transportation and well wishes as I recover from the mild stroke I suffered after being rear ended on West End Avenue in Nashville on July 7th.
Thank you for your prayers and for everything that you did and continue to do for me.
I returned to the office on Monday, August, 11th and am recovering nicely. I pray that God continues to bless us all, Meharry Medical College and the Meharry National Alumni Association.
Henry A. Moses, Ph.D.
Executive Director, MNAA, Inc.
Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry
MEHARRY'S KENNETH OSIEZHAGA, M.D. FINDS BECOMING A U.S. CITIZEN AN "EMOTIONAL AND HUMBLING EXPERIENCE"
Dr. Osiezhaga with his family immediately after he became a U.S. citizen
With his wife and children sitting together on one side of Nashville’s Federal Court House and Kenneth Osiezhaga, M.D., chief psychiatry resident at Meharry, sitting with his fellow candidates for citizenship on the other side, emotions were at its peak. It was July 25, 2014 and Dr. Osiezhaga was about to be sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America.
Born in Benin, Nigeria, Osiezhaga graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 2002 from the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria.“I absolutely could not believe it was happening,” said Osiezhaga of his swearing in. “It was an emotional and humbling experience. I always viewed America as the ‘land of opportunity’ and knew if I worked hard, I could achieve my dream of being a U.S. citizen.”
Osiezhaga applied for citizenship in January 2014 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Memphis, Tennessee. “I was so happy to fill out and complete my application,” said Osiezhaga. “Remembering how life was in Nigeria, the lack of good health care, the hardships, I knew I was preparing to make a better life for myself but, more importantly, for my family.”
Dr. Avula (left) stands with Dr. Osiezhaga in the Elam Mental Health Center
After he applied to the USCIS, Osiezhaga had to wait and see if he would get an interview. He received a letter stating he would be interviewed but, before that would happen, there was major studying to do.
“To prepare for my interview I had to learn the rights of U.S. citizens, how many senators there are and how many make up the members of Congress. I also had to learn how the judiciary and the legislature systems worked, our constitution, the Bill of Rights and so much more.”
Within a month of his studying, the next letter arrived informing Osiezhaga that he would be required to come to Memphis in April 2014, for his formal interview. Fortunately, he did not have to wait long for the results. He was told, shortly after his interview, that he had passed and would get a letter in the mail telling him when he was going to be sworn in.
“I was elated and couldn’t wait to tell everyone,” said Osiezhaga.
He soon received a letter from the USCIS and he was back in Memphis on July 25, 2014 for his swearing-in ceremony. “It was beautiful,” he said. “After the judge pronounced everyone a real U.S. citizen, we all said the Pledge of Allegiance in unison. There were 56 of us sworn in that day.”
A representative from Senator Bob Corker’s office was there as well as a representative from Congressman Jim Cooper’s office. The representative from Cooper’s office brought a hand delivered congratulatory letter that was read to the new citizens.
“After the day was over, all I could do was look at my children,” Osiezhaga said. “My children were all born in America. I thought about how they would never have to want for anything and how I was now a citizen like them.” Osiezhaga smiled and thought about his children. “They are too young and did not understand the magnitude of the day’s events but, they are blessed.” He said, “One day I will certainly make sure they understand what I achieved and what I went through to achieve it.”
One of Dr. Osiezhaga’s good friends and colleague, Siva Avula, M.D., originally from India and a psychiatry extern in Meharry’s Department of Psychiatry, recently became a U.S. citizen in 2013. “I am so thrilled for my friend,” said Avula. “He has wanted to be an American citizen for a long time and I cannot be more proud of him and happy for his family.”
Osiezhaga’s next goal: have his wife to become a United States citizen. “She’s thinking it over,” he laughs.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REMAINS A CRISIS
Robin Kimbrough, J.D., M.Div., chaplain and special assistant to the president on United Methodist Affairs, was the featured guest on NewsChannel 5’s OpenLine program where she discussed the ongoing problem of domestic violence. The program aired on July 31, 2014 and was hosted by Jessica Ralston, Emmy winning news anchor\reporter with NewsChannel 5. OpenLine is a live call-in show that gives viewers the opportunity to voice their opinions and ask questions.
“[Rev. Kimbrough] is a voice for victims and a strong [domestic violence] advocate,” said Ralston. “We are lucky to have her help, knowledge and passion for change in our community.”
In collaboration with CEDS, student counseling services and the Elam Mental Health Center, Rev. Kimbrough has organized domestic violence information sessions on Meharry’s campus for students, faculty and staff. She also conducts seminars, meets with individuals on a one-on-one basis and provides numerous resources on the topic. “Domestic violence is real,” said Kimbrough. “One out of three women will become victims of domestic violence.” She went on to say domestic violence is not restricted to gender or heterosexual relationships.
If you are in a domestic violence relationship or, if you suspect you are, you can call Rev. Kimbrough any time, office: 615.327.6975 or cell: 615.579.3300. There is also a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, sponsored by the YWCA. That number is 615.242.1199.
GAUTAM CHAUDHURI, PH.D., RECIEVES GRANT
Congratulations to Gautam Chaudhuri, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine, on receiving the NIH R21 grant to study ways macrophages can be used as a defense mechanism against breast cancer cells. To read about his research, please click here.
RABBI FALK TO BE HONORED IN
Linda Witt, senior associate vice president for the Office of Development (front row, far left), Robert S. Poole, senior vice president, Division of Institutional Advancement (back row, second from right) and board of trustees member, Lewis Lavine (back row, far right) stand with brunch guests in the atrium of the LRC.
On August 19, 2014, Meharry hosted a brunch for a group of individuals from the Jewish community who will help spearhead a fundraising initiative in support of the new Cal Turner Family Center honoring the memory of Rabbi Randall M. Falk. Rabbi Falk served on Meharry’s board of trustees from 1996 to 2007 and became trustee emeritus from 2007 until his death earlier this year. He was also a co-founder of the Meharry Circle of Friends. Student representatives and members of the Division of Institutional Advancement staff also attended.
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