New campus organization established for underrepresented students pursuing careers in health professions

In collaboration with Earlham’s Center for Global Health, two students have established a new organization in support of underrepresented students pursuing careers in health professions.

Kendra Parker ’21 and Tyrique Richardson ’21 are president and vice president, respectively, of Earlham’s chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS), a program of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).

“This organization is different than other existing clubs on campus that support minority students,” says Richardson, a Biochemistry major from Brooklyn, New York. “This club is geared toward nurturing students’ academic and personal pursuits. We want to mentor students of color in the hopes of increasing the number of minority applicants to medical school and the number of minority physicians serving the region around campus.”

Census data confirms what Parker and Richardson already know from their career training: the current healthcare workforce does not reflect the nation’s diversity.

“We want to play a role in promoting better diversity in medicine,” says Parker, a Neuroscience major from Hollywood, Florida. “Minority populations are underserved by physicians and medical professionals who share the same life experiences. Because MAPS is nationally recognized in the healthcare industry, we think this club can make a real difference on campus and beyond.”

MAPS members benefit from networking opportunities, scholarships, and discounts on fees associated with taking the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. Earlham’s chapter is affiliated with SNMA Region 5, which represents colleges and universities in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Earlham’s “sister school” is the Boonshoft School of Medicine on the campus of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

“We’re excited to partner with our sister school and other undergraduate students from across the region,” Parker says.

Michael Deibel in Chemistry and Peter Blair in Biology are co-directors of the Center for Global Health. Deibel will be the faculty adviser for the MAPS chapter.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Kendra and Tyrique on this critically important initiative,” Deibel says. “Although Earlham has long been committed to promoting diversity in the liberal arts, this chapter has the capacity to create even stronger networks for underrepresented students, ensuring the best possible preparation for any health career they choose to pursue.”

MAPS is just the latest student-led organization available to students that promote leadership in the health professions. The Health Club organizes blood drives on campus and other activities in recognition of National Public Health Week. Earlham’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter provides opportunities for networking and education about career opportunities in the healthcare industry. In 2018, three Earlhamites finished in the top five at competitions sponsored by HOSA’s international conference in Dallas, Texas, in the areas of medical terminology, medical math and medical reading.

In addition to these leadership organizations, the College’s Center for Global Health also supports 11 four-year plans to help students in the sciences build a strong portfolio and be competitive for admission into graduate and medical school programs.

A hallmark of the educational experience for pre-health students is participation in a robust externship and internship program with local, national and international placement opportunities. Students also have access to dozens of mentored undergraduate research agendas, which strongly contributes to Earlham’s standing in the nation’s top two percent for the percentage of graduates who earn advanced degrees, including the Ph.D.

Earlham also offers The Epic Advantage — a funded internship, project or research experience of up to $5,000 for every student — a level of support that few other institutions in the country can match.

Students interested in joining Earlham’s MAPS chapter can contact Parker and Richardson at [email protected].

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a “College That Changes Lives.” We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally by Princeton Review for Best Classroom Experience and 22nd by U.S. News and World Report for commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and [email protected].

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.