Alexis Cates, a fourth-year student in the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine from Mandeville, La., was recently awarded the Nichols LEAD Scholar Award by the American Osteopathic Foundation.
The Nichols LEAD Scholar Award, given to an osteopathic medical student whose leadership, excellence, achievement and dedication are proven in the classroom and community, includes a $1,000 cash gift and honors Dr. Karen J. Nichols, the first female president of the American Osteopathic Association.
Cates was given the award for demonstrating a “passion for serving and leading others,” according to Foundation officials. Cates has served as chairperson of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association Foundation (SOMA) and as a member of its national board of trustees, Carey chapter president and co-chair of its political affairs committee.
In awarding Cates, Foundation officials noted her work with SOMA, including getting the Carey chapter involved with D.O. Day at Capitol Hill, a day for doctors of osteopathic medicine to visit legislators and discuss their concerns. Under her leadership, the chapter was also awarded the Golden Tibia Award recognizing it as chapter of the year.
Additionally, Cates was instrumental in leading the chapter’s development of a program designed to increase the cardiovascular health, flexibility and balance of female senior citizens residing in Hattiesburg’s Wesley Manor. Cates has also been actively involved in research, having served as first author on a paper titled “Impact of Dual Polarization Radar Technology and Twitter on the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Tornado,” published in 2013 by the Disaster Medicine and Public Preparedness Journal.
As a fourth-year student, Cates is completing her coursework for the medical program and is involved in clinical rotations. She is currently working in pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.