Medical Student from Conway receives White Coat at NYITCOM at A-State ceremony

Levy Erika of Conway was among the NYITCOM at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM at A-State) medical students who recently received their white coats, a rite of passage signifying the official start of medical school.

NYITCOM at A-State's White Coat Ceremony was held on August 10th in the Fowler Center on the A-State campus. During the event, second-year students Anand Bhagat and Margaret Kell were awarded the Gregory William Berner Scholarship, NYITCOM at A-State's first endowed scholarship.

NYITCOM at A-State's newest class is eager to support the mission of improving health care in the Mississippi Delta region and other underserved communities. Seven of the eight Delta region states were represented by the 120 students of the NYITCOM at A-State Class of 2022. Among these students was Roland Brutus of Arkansas, a student intent on continuing the legacy of his physician father, who tragically passed away while helping medically underserved communities in Mexico.

"Although his voice can no longer be heard, the memory of his altruistic life continues to speak into my heart and conscience. The joint work of my father and mother in providing high-quality holistic-care to patients served as an inspiration for me to enroll at NYITCOM as a medical student," said Brutus, who was coated by his mother, also a physician, to the sound of thunderous applause.

"In a time like no other the need for talented, forward-thinking physicians is great, and in this region of the nation especially," said Shane Speights, D.O., site dean of NYITCOM at A-State. "It is for that reason that NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine has stepped forward to help address that need."

Conway native enrolls in Belmont University's largest class

Sarah Skelton of Conway enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee this semester as part of the University's largest class yet. The school kicked off its fall 2018 semester with a record-breaking enrollment number as the University welcomed 8,318 students to campus, nearly triple the enrollment in 2000 and marking a 65 percent increase in the last decade alone. This marks Belmont's 18th consecutive year of record enrollment.

Belmont's sustained growth has been accomplished through traditional, residential education, as the University also marked the opening of its largest residence hall to date in August. As part of its Vision 2020 strategic plan, Belmont aims to enroll 8,888 students by the Fall 2020 semester, providing more students than ever the opportunity to embrace the Belmont mission to "engage and transform the world."

Applications for freshman admissions for Fall 2018 saw a significant increase of 5.3 percent and resulted in an accomplished incoming freshman class of 1,634 students, the largest in University history. Belmont also continues to be among the top destinations for transfer students as 494 transfers, also a record, joined the campus this fall. The University's graduate schools, which offer more than 25 master's degrees and five doctoral programs, attracted 658 new students for 2018-19 new academic year.

This year's incoming freshman class hails from 48 states and nine countries, with 74 percent of the class originating from outside of Tennessee. As a group, Belmont's Class of 2022 scored an average of 27 on the ACT and held an average high school GPA of 3.7. The new students made their presence known throughout Nashville during orientation as more than 2,100 freshmen and transfers participated in the annual SERVE event, which allows students to engage in community service at nonprofit sites around the city.

Belmont's student body currently consists of 6,730 undergraduate students and 1,588 pursuing graduate/professional paths.