Brody welcomes Class of 2015
From left to right, Mickey Dowdy, ECU's vice chancellor for university advancement and interim president of the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, is pictured with Brody Scholars Scott Gremillion of Raleigh, Marlana Sheridan of Roanoke Rapids and Sunny Darji of Charlotte. Photo by Cliff Hollis, ECU News Services.
(Aug. 12, 2011)
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University celebrated the start of medical school for 78 new students by presenting each with a white coat during a ceremony Aug. 12.
The 40 women and 38 men in the Class of 2015 range in age from 20 to 41. As usual, they are all North Carolina residents, with 28 counties of residence listed. They received their undergraduate degrees from 24 different colleges and universities, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill having the most graduates, 22. ECU has 15 alumni in the class, and North Carolina State University has 12.
Dr. Benjamin Gersh, an ECU faculty member in family medicine and psychiatric medicine, told the new medical students to stay true to themselves, passionate about interests outside medicine, and the things they value most. Gersh is a 2006 ECU medical graduate.
“No matter how exciting it is to get the white coat, do not lose sight of those who helped you get here,” Gersh said. “Do not lose sight of the things that make you who you are.”
The class includes three Brody Scholars, Sunny Darji of Charlotte, Scott Gremillion of Raleigh and Marlana Sheridan of Roanoke Rapids. The scholarship program pays tuition and living expenses and encourages participants to design their own summer enrichment program that can include travel abroad.
Gremillion decided to enter medical school after leaving active duty in the U.S. Air Force in 2007 and serving in Iraq. He is a captain in the reserves. “I’m getting into this to help people and the best way to do that is in primary care,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to helping people, wherever that is, so that I can be a part of their lives.”
Also in the class is Tiffany Lee of Greenville, who received a Fullerton Scholarship worth $20,000 a year. Lee received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and biology from ECU.
“It’s really exciting for me growing up here, and having the opportunity to learn medicine, so that I can serve people who have given me so much,” Lee said. “I’m excited to be going into a profession that I really love and I’m honored to have the opportunity.”
Two students in the class received 2011 Robert H. Wright Awards while seniors at ECU, Brittany Leigh Carr of Mount Olive and Parteek Singla of Greenville. The most prestigious award given to ECU undergraduates, the Wright Award recognizes academic achievement, service and leadership.
The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. "Sammy" Brody, who died in 1994. He and his brother, Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina. The legacy continues through the dedicated efforts of Hyman Brody and David Brody. Subsequent gifts through the Brody Foundation have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research and improve health care in eastern North Carolina.
The scholarship is administered through the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation.
The symbolic white coats are a gift to class members from the Brody School of Medicine Alumni Society, said Karen Cobb, director of development for the foundation. Ninety-eight alumni donated more than $8,000 to pay for the coats and welcome breakfast. Participating alumni were given note cards to write a personal note to their students, and Dr. David Collier, an assistant professor and president of the alumni society, gave one to each new student.