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University Honors Scholars

East Tennessee State University

Student Spotlights

UHS Student Spotlight

Andrew TaylorAndrew Taylor is excited about the path he is on. This summer he accepted a position at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga where he is working in the Medical Intensive Care Unit as a patient care technician. "I’m grateful for this great experience in the nursing field as I am about to begin the Nursing program at ETSU."

Aamir ShAmir Shaikhaikh was fortunate enough to conduct research at Emory’s Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECCRI). Prior to starting at ECCRI, he recalls reading the biographies on each of the principle investigators in the department. They were such accomplished individuals that his initial excitement turned to slight nervousness. To his relief, the early enthusiasm was replenished as he met the woman who he would be working with for the next two months. "I’ve learned more from this woman’s attitude towards life than by conducting countless hours of valuable research." As a team we were able to verify data on hundreds of registered patients and administer questionnaires to several new patients every week. This data would later be used to consider how different social conditions (socioeconomic, marriage status, race, etc.) correlated with an individual’s cardiovascular health.

Anna CowanThrough her involvement in the Timmy Global Health club on campus, Anna Cowan was able to fly to Ecuador to set up a medical clinic in the community of Guangaje. She worked alongside doctors as a scribe and used her Spanish skills to register people and record their vital signs, providing aid to over 400 patients. She got the opportunity to assist in cases of patients with mild illnesses, like gastritis or back pain, to cases of severe or life-threatening conditions such as cancer and large heart murmurs. As a pre med student, this experience provideded her with several opportunities to learn from experienced physicians and to understand the importance of healthcare to people who have limited or no access to resources. As a Spanish student, this she was able to immerse herself in South American culture.

Callie RootCallie Root was able to observe an array of health care professionals such as Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Ophthalmic Assistants while interning at the Regional Eye Center in Kingsport, Tennessee. She received hands-on experience with patients through performing tests and pre-screenings before they saw the physician. Alongside a team of medical professionals and volunteers, she also completed her fourth trip to St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. Over the span of one week, she helped to provide eye care to over 900 patients. She assisted with visual acuities and testing in the clinic and also had the opportunity to observe eye-related surgeries in the operating room.

hunter thomasHunter Thomas spent the summer at an internship with Parkway Playhouse where, in addition to the general construction of set and costumes, he was giving the responsibility of stage manager, costume designer, and props designer for several main stage shows, a children's camp, and a special traveling program that brings attention to the environment and children's literacy. (Hunter is in the back with the yellow headband).


Hannah ManisOver a period of three months, Hannah Manis had the opportunity to work with 48 clients doing in-session, participatory observation in a private clinical psychology practice. She was able to freely give her input during the therapy and received feedback, training, and encouragement by her mentor. She gained experience in her field through 105 hours last year and 150 currently. Her youngest client was 8 years old and her oldest, 83. "It was incredible to watch how the therapist I worked with was able to help these individuals heal from traumas they have endured in their past and give them tools to enable them to live their best life."

Alyssa DingusInterning with Dr. Mike Hoff in Institutional Research this past summer, Alyssa Dingus was able to work on projects concerning campus, national surveys, peer institutions, and data analysis. She had the opportunity to attend conferences concerning Learning Communities and tour off campus facilities like Valleybrook. She also worked on some larger projects including faculty activity reporting software, faculty workloads, and an executive summary from ETSU’s State of the University Survey. During these projects she learned new techniques in Excel as well as new software like IBM SPSS Statistics. In addition to working with Dr. Hoff, she was able to work with Jeremy Ross, ETSU’s Acting Chief Operating Officer, experiencing many of the different administrative departments at ETSU.

Colin PeaceCollin Peace had the opportunity to work as a contracts intern in the accounting department of Republic Parking Systems in downtown Chattanooga. He gained hands-on experience in completing bank reconciliations, entering and checking revenue items, updating the company's income statement, and compiling parking databases to organize collected data. His main project was aiding in creating, designing, and implementing the new Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) accounting system that will replace the out-dated AS400 accounting system the company currently has in place.

Alex DayAlex Day had the opportunity to work at Boxwell Reservation as the Quartermaster during his summer break. He drove a UPS truck to deliver food and empty trash. His interest in recycling lead him to help with the camp's recycling program. He was able to recycle more than 500 lbs of recyclables.


Madison Loggins and Kelsey HufferMadison Loggins and Kelsey Huffer traveled to Kenya for three weeks with The Well, a campus ministry. They spent their first week camped in a village helping to build a toilet block for a new secondary school for girls while also evangelizing. The toilet block was a critical project because the school cannot open without it, and this would be the first secondary school for girls in that area. "We are both very passionate about education for women and loved getting the opportunity to empower other women." Next, the two traveled to Tenwek Hospital, one of the largest mission hospitals in Africa. There they were able to shadow in the pediatric ward and in eye surgery. They were able to see diseases and procedures they would never see in America. While at the hospital they also taught at a primary school.

After returning from Kenya, Madison participated in the Medical Explorations internship at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. "It was a three-week program in which I was able to shadow in cardiothoracic surgery, surgical oncology specifically relating to breast cancer, and anesthesiology. I was able to watch everything from open heart surgeries to partial mastectomies to C-sections. The program was an excellent opportunity to see medicine in a new setting; I had previously never shadowed in a hospital as large as UT and had also never shadowed in either cardiothoracic surgery or surgical oncology. The program also included everything from lectures on medical ethics and physician wellness to becoming certified during a Stop the Bleed trauma course. It certainly reinforced my love for medicine while providing invaluable experience and knowledge in the health care field."

Working toSophia Fleddermanward her CNA license to gain clinical experience for medical school,Sophia Fledderman served as a student nurse assistant in a nursing home and discovered a fondness for the elderly population. Due to this discovery, she is now interested in specializing in family medicine.She gained experience with residents who had Alzheimer’s, dementia, and unique behaviors that require specific attention. She found the work to be especially rewarding. She also interned at a county prosector’s office and realized how beneficial it was to be able to sit in on various autopsies, getting to see the “real” uncensored side of forensic pathology.

Brittney StubbsBrittney Stubbs has a passion for service - local, national and international. Opportunities made possible through ETSU student organizations to work with new cultures and communities have heightened her awareness of social justice issues and inspired her to become a physician. A native of Crossville, Tennessee, Brittney is a University Honors Scholar and an Honors-in-Discipline Scholar. She recently returned from an Alternative Spring Break Experience in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focusing on urban poverty. Read more>>

Chaabeer chaudharyudhary knew of ETSU from living in Johnson City and having two older siblings who had been University Honors Scholars. But it was the personal touch of a former Honors College administrator that convinced her to follow in her siblings’ footsteps. Born in New Jersey, where her parents settled after moving from Pakistan for her mother’s medical residency, Chaudhary is majoring in microbiology. Read more>>

Being from Alexandria ExleyMemphis, Alexandria Exley had lived her whole life where the land was flat. When she visited ETSU for the first time and saw the surrounding mountains, the avid hiker thought, “I could definitely live here and enjoy spending four years studying here.” But what she found she loves the most is the sense of community on ETSU’s campus and throughout the Johnson City area. Read more>>

David FloydEver since his freshman year, David Floyd has been reporting the stories of East Tennessee State University. It was during the spring semester of his first year that he took a position with the East Tennessean student newspaper.  Since then, he has held many roles – reporter, arts and entertainment editor, copy chief and news editor – before assuming the role of executive editor this past fall. Read more>>

Pooja ShahPooja Shah loves to have a positive impact on others, and ETSU’s Student Government Association is one avenue by which she may do just that. Although the Knoxville native was never involved in student government in middle or high school, she knew she wanted to take part in it on the collegiate level.  “It just seemed like a great way to change and impact ETSU and the campus,” Shah said. Read more>>

Rana ElgazzarRana Elgazzar has had a close look at other parts of the world. She was born in Egypt, but spent her early years living in Japan. “Japanese was my first language,” she says, “but we left when I was about 7 years old, so I lost my ability to speak and write in Japanese. Now, when I look at things I wrote back then, I have no idea what they say.” When she graduated from high school, many of her fellow students headed away from Johnson City, but Elgazzar wasn’t ready to leave. Read more>>

Ryan LynchRyan Lynch had no idea where he wanted to go to college until late in his senior year of high school in Morristown. By March of that year, he realized he needed to make a decision, and though he considered and visited a number of schools, one thing stood out about East Tennessee State University. Read more>>

Caroline DruryA quiet, stress-free life doesn’t appeal to Caroline Drury. The East Tennessee State University sophomore was drawn to the adrenaline rush of emergencies from a young age. The Nashville native says, “At the age of six, I visited Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight, the organization that handles emergency transport to hospitals, and I decided I wanted to be a flight medic. Then I worked as a lifeguard and was able to respond to some medical emergencies on the job. Read more>>

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