U, Village inspiring future black medical innovators and doctorsYouth group to participate in Medicine U immersion experience at the U

The University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, Office of Engagement, School of Medicine and Women’s Enrollment Initiative are partnering with The V(i)llage to inspire future black medical innovators and doctors by hosting a Medicine U college experience for middle and high school students on Feb. 12.

Student participants are members in The V(i)llage, a comprehensive leadership bridge program for self-identifying African, African-American and multiracial black students who attend West, East and Syracuse high schools; Syracuse, Sunset, North Davis, Central Davis and North Layton junior high schools; and Glendale and Northwest middle schools.

Glendale students

PHOTO CREDIT: The V(i)llage

Glendale students

“This is the second year The V(i)llage has conducted a college immersion visit with black students who aspire to achieve degree attainment,” said Nedra Hotchkins, The V(i)llage program co-founder and women’s education specialist at the University of Utah. “Those who participate in this event are going to learn about the benefits of obtaining careers within medical professions where innovation, ideas and practice meet. Participating in hands-on activities will serve as a catalyst toward our students seeing themselves within the field of medicine.”

Medicine U is designed to provide participants with educational experiences that challenge their ability to think critically about innovative medical problem-solving situations that can be applied in the real world. Medicine U was organized to promote an interest in medical innovation and medical professions among black students who might attend the University of Utah in the immediate future.

“In part, the purpose of this experience is to expose black students to STEM fields, specifically, pharmacy and nursing, to get them to determine how innovative approaches to medical problems can result in practical solutions for the betterment of society,” said Bryan K. Hotchkins, The V(i)llage program co-founder and professor in the Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Utah. “Additionally, participants will gain valuable rapport building time with University of Utah medical students, which is an added benefit.”

During the visit, students also participate in nursing and pharmacy-related, hands-on, observational activities and experience a medical educational address by Elicia Williams-King, an African-American assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah.

The event theme, Medicine U, dares students to see themselves as valuable pieces to medical equations that need to be solved in unique ways. The event concludes after participants have participated in four educational tracks hosted by the Lassonde Institute, School of Medicine and pharmacy and nursing colleges designed to highlight the lived experiences of students within the context of medical problem solving.

About The V(i)llage
Created in September 2014 by Bryan and Nedra Hotchkins, The V(i)llage leadership bridge program focuses on teaching self-identifying black students leadership development, self-advocacy, positive academic outcomes, cultural validation, the value of communal engagement and school involvement with peers and teachers. The program serves as a pathway to college by educating students about degree attainment and career opportunities after completing college. The V(i)llage program, which is in its second year, currently serves approximately 251 students within the Salt Lake and Davis school districts. Additionally, The V(i)llage also serves parents of black children in what is known as The Community V(i)llage, a holistic parenting program designed to educate participants about race relations, transracial adoption best-rearing practices, and how to address issues of racism in K-20 learning environments. For more information, visit thinkpositionality.org or contact thinkpositionality@gmail.com.

Media Contacts

Nedra HotchkinsCo-founder of The V(i)llage
Mobile: 405-639-0457

Annalisa Purserassociate director, University Marketing & Communications
Office: 801-581-7295 Mobile: 435-232-0312

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