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Incoming medical students named Brody Scholars are, left to right, Ismail Kassim of High Point, Alyssa D’Addezio of Concord and Zachary Sutton of Pink Hill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Three medical students named Brody Scholars


Aug. 18, 2014

By Amy Adams Ellis
ECU News Services


Three incoming students at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine have been named Brody Scholars for the Class of 2018.

Alyssa D'Addezio of Concord, Ismail Kassim of High Point and Zachary Sutton of Pink Hill will receive four years of medical school tuition, living expenses and the opportunity to design their own summer enrichment program that can include travel abroad. The award will also support community service projects the students may undertake while in medical school.

D'Addezio attended North Carolina State University on a Park Scholarship, the university’s four-year merit scholarship program founded on scholarship, leadership, service and character. She graduated in May with a human biology degree and a minor in English.

She said one of her short-term goals is to serve in a local clinic for underserved populations in preparation for a primary care career in North Carolina. “The Brody Scholars program generously provides support that allows me to boldly pursue primary care without the burden or limitations of debt,” she said. “It also gives me an amazing opportunity to help meet the health care needs of the people of North Carolina by enhancing my medical education and training with networking and support.”

Kassim also graduated recently from N.C. State with degrees in human biology and chemistry. A native of Nigeria, he said he hasn’t decided on a specialty yet, but has enjoyed previous exposure to both family medicine and oncology.

Over the next four years, Kassim hopes to “gain the skills needed to become a competent and compassionate physician while cultivating healthy relationships that will last a lifetime. My selection as a Brody Scholar highlights the support of the family members, friends, mentors and educators who have invested in me and helped me develop into the person I am today,” he added. “I am eternally grateful to the Brody Scholars program for their belief in me and willingness to transform my dream of becoming a physician into reality.”

Sutton graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a degree in biochemistry. He said he doesn’t have a specific medical specialty in mind but is interested in exploring family medicine.

“I want to learn not only the knowledge associated with becoming a doctor, but also the social skills needed to effectively interact with patients and other medical staff,” Sutton said. “As a kid growing up in and around Kinston, I have long known about the Brody family [of Kinston and Greenville]…and their great contributions toward improving health care in eastern North Carolina. Becoming a part of their family as a Brody Scholar is truly an honor, and I will do everything I can to promote the Brody name in a positive manner.”

James Peden Jr., associate dean for admissions at the medical school, said, “For over 30 years the Brody Medical Scholarship Program has attracted outstanding students to the Brody School of Medicine, providing them with opportunities and development activities in addition to very generous financial support. Our Brody Scholars have in turn enriched the Brody School of Medicine with their academic, leadership and altruistic contributions. Most importantly, Brody Scholars have gone on to fulfill the BSOM mission by practicing as outstanding physicians caring for the people of North Carolina.”

In its 32nd year, the Brody Scholars program honors J.S. “Sammy” Brody. 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 of Greenville and David Brody of Kinston. Subsequent gifts from the Brody family have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research and improve health care in eastern North Carolina.

Since the program began in 1983, 128 students have received scholarships. About 70 percent of Brody Scholars remain in North Carolina to practice, and the majority of those stay in eastern North Carolina.