Three second-year medical students at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine were honored with special awards during the sixth annual White Coat Ceremony on August 15 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
Christen Jones of Moselle received the Asbury Award for Academic Excellence, which was endowed by the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg and is given annually to recognize the student from the foundation’s eight-county service area who achieves the highest grade point average during the freshman year of study.
Preference is given to a student who intends to practice in Mississippi. Dr. William K. “Bill” Ray, the president of the foundation, presented Jones with a medallion and Dr. Tommy King, Carey president, awarded Jones with a cash gift to apply to her medical education. Jones is a 2013 graduate of Carey with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Jeffrey Griffis of Hattiesburg was presented with the Ross Award for Excellence in Anatomy, which recognizes the student with the highest grade point average in anatomy. It is given on an annual basis to a medical student from Mississippi who plans to practice in the state after completion of medical school.
The Ross Award was established by Dr. Randy Ross, chairman of the department of surgery at Hattiesburg Clinic, and his wife, Brenda. The Rosses presented Griffis with a medallion and a cash stipend to be applied to medical school tuition. Griffis is a 2013 graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a 2014 graduate of Carey’s Master of Biomedical Science program.
Kristen Stevenson of Frisco, Texas, was awarded the Gulfport Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship for academic merit. The hospital auxiliary provided funds for two scholarships, including the medical student scholarship and a scholarship for a student enrolled in the Carey School of Nursing. Dr. James Turner, dean of the medical college, presented Stevenson with a certificate. Stevenson is a 2013 graduate of the Centenary College of Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
“Establishing an endowed scholarship for students in the medical field is a fine way to leave a lasting legacy to an individual, a loved one or family member, while also enhancing medical services available to an underserved area of our nation,” said King as he expressed his appreciation to award and scholarship donors.
The Carey medical college, the second medical school in Mississippi and the state’s only osteopathic medical school, was established in 2010 to address the severe shortage of physicians in Mississippi and surrounding states and to impact the health care of rural Mississippians. The inaugural class graduated in 2014 followed by the second class in 2015. The White Coat Ceremony, held each August, welcomes the medical college’s newest class of students.