Report of Chapter Activities
January 1, 2000 - December
34th Biennial Convention-March 7-10, 2002
The South Carolina Beta chapter of
Alpha Epsilon Delta is pleased to report our activities from
January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2001. South Carolina Beta has
enjoyed dynamic leadership under its new Chief Health Professions
Advisor, Dr. Laura K. Thompson, and a dedicated student executive
board. Consistent with the proud liberal arts tradition of Furman
University, we continue to dedicate our efforts to the development
of future health professionals in all aspects of intellect and
character. Our chapter has also enhanced its formidable relationship
with the faculty, the student body at large, the local healthcare
system, and the surrounding community. South Carolina Beta is
stronger than ever before.
List of Sections:
1: Service to the College/University
2: Service Programs Outside the College/ University
3: Service to the Pre-professional Student
5: Initiation Activities and Social Events
1: Service to the College/University
South Carolina Beta conducted biannual fundraisers by administering
practice professional admissions tests (LSAT, GRE, and GMAT).
These Kaplan-sponsored events provided the undergraduate student
interested in non-medically related professions an opportunity
to hone their test-taking skills.
Cultural life programs (CLPs) are events that
aim to broaden academic, social, or artistic awareness of the
general student population at Furman. Our chapter contributed
several CLPs to the selection offered during the last two years.
We hosted many speakers and forums regarding medical issues
in today's society, featuring discussions by renowned geneticists,
physicians, and public health experts.
On February 5. 2001, our chapter cosponsored a
CLP with the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS Relay for
Life and Cancer Education lecture informed Furman students of
current issues in cancer research and its funding. Two months
ACS conducted its first Relay for Life fundraiser on campus.
2: Service Programs
Outside the College/ University
South Carolina Beta strives to cultivate its relationship with
the community, both locally and globally. We hope our contacts
with the community provide it with tangible physical and emotional
benefits. We stand to benefit as well. The importance of interacting
with all elements of society in forming character and developing
compassion is evident in the diverse patient base we will treat
once we are professionals.
In conjunction with the Blood Connection, our chapter held biannual
blood drives on campus. This activity is essential considering
the average Greenville blood supply lags beneath the desired
4-6 day margin.
Each Valentine's Day and Easter, AED members delivered
decorations and visited residents of the Oakmont Nursing Center.
Three AED members have volunteered to feed and
groom horses of Dr. Thompson's friend. The friend has severe
arthritis that prevents her from these activities.
Our chapter coordinated with the Furman University
Collegiate Educational Service Corps (CESC) in performing medically
related services to the local community. Several AED members
took part in a particularly relevant CESC program by volunteering
at the Greenville Free Medical Clinic.
South Carolina Beta is particularly proud to participate
in medical missions. Many programs in the United States organize
pre-health students, graduate students, and health professionals
for an unorthodox medical experience. These people travel to
less affluent regions of the world to alleviate some effects
of substandard medical care. Medical missions may be faith-based
or otherwise humanitarian non-profit organizations that recognize
an ethical responsibility to restore dignity and life through
healthcare. In 2000, six AED members participated in medical
missions (two to Honduras, Haiti, Romania, Dominican Republic,
and France). In 2001, two members joined missions (Dominican
Republic and Guatemala).
3: Service to the Pre-professional
The primary mission of South Carolina
Beta remains the preparation of pre-health students for an intellectually
and physically demanding graduate school experience. We hope
their experiences here will lead to a seamless assimilation
into the medical community.
Lectures, speakers, medical films, multimedia
presentations, extern programs, volunteer work in hospitals,
South Carolina Beta attempts to bring
as many medically related speakers and events to campus as
possible. By drawing diverse elements of the medical community
to the university, we expose our members to contemporary social
concerns and scientific innovations in a convenient location.
Representatives from regional professional schools and other
concerns in the graduate admissions process also frequent
the campus for recruitment purposes. Visits to Furman in the
last two years included:
We believe internships, externships,
and other shadowing experiences are crucial to reinforcing the
decision to enter a health profession. The protracted and challenging
nature of training to become a health professional necessitates
a practical desire to do so. We actively encourage members to
observe as many disciplines of the profession as their schedules
permit. Opportunities our members have taken advantage of over
the last two years include:
Greenville Hospital System Children's Hospital
Internship Program in Pediatrics
Summer internships at
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Summer Student Educational Enrichment Program
and Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program, Medical College
Summer internship at
Independent research opportunities through
Furman Advantage funds
Volunteer work at the
Greenville Free Medical Clinic
Volunteer work at Greenville Memorial Hospital
and various hometown hospitals
Numerous hometown externships
through new system based on our extensive register of alumni
Shadowing experiences at Greenville Memorial
Hospital and with other doctors in the local community
pre-health mentorship program pairs an AED member with a member
of the Greenville medical community, usually a practicing doctor
from a field in which the student is interested. Twice a year
each student meets with his or her contact for our Mentorship
Banquet. The Banquet is a great opportunity to organize shadowing
experiences and our members often form close, continuing relationships
with their mentors.
During winter term in even years, Dr.
Carmela Epright of the Philosophy Department and Dr. Kristy
McNamara of the Sociology Department team-teach an AED-sponsored
medical ethics/sociology course. This unique program offers
students a chance to consider many important facets of the profession
that many doctors experience only after years of practice. From
the medical ethics perspective, students discuss major moral
issues in the health care delivery system. These encompass doctor/patient
relationships, truth-telling, refusal of life-saving treatment,
euthanasia, and allocation of scarce medical resources. From
the medical sociology perspective, students consider health
insurance and socioeconomic issues of access to healthcare.
Students perform required fieldwork at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
They encounter all human elements of the healthcare system,
including nurses, doctors, social workers, patients, family
members, and insurance representatives. Seminar-style classes
promote discussion as students form independent analyses of
the medical profession. The class enables students to contemplate
many unspoken issues, positively influencing their future decisions
Visits to professional schools, hospitals,
The four South Carolina AED chapters
proudly inaugurated the first state convention on April 6,
2001. Hosted by the University of South Carolina School of
Medicine (USCSM), the convention will occur on a biennial
basis (non-national convention years). South Carolina Beta
sent 32 students and 2 advisors, the largest delegation of
any chapter. USCSM faculty treated the students to a discussion
on the brain, a hands-on experience with plastinated specimens,
and a tour of the gross anatomy lab. Capping the day was a
banquet featuring guest speaker Dr. Robert Sabalis, Associate
Vice President for Student Programs of the AAMC, and his assessment
of the future of medical school admissions. South Carolina
Beta is extremely excited to participate in one-day state
conventions as a way to expand involvement in the chapter.
Members ordinarily unable to attend the national convention
due to scheduling restrictions found the experience quite
- Peer instruction and counseling (tutorials, academic advisement,
"Big Brother Programs", MCAT review, study aids, etc.)
South Carolina Beta carefully fosters
the academic development of pre-health students through the
duration of their undergraduate careers. We begin by welcoming
freshmen as associate members to our chapter. By acknowledging
students' initial interest in a health career, we may effectively
communicate guidance to underclassmen through newsletters and
mass emails. Early knowledge of the pre-health academic regimen
eliminates many unexpected scheduling conflicts later. We welcomed
86 associate members in 2001.
One full AED member is assigned to
act as a buddy to a freshman
associate member. In September, freshmen meet their upperclassman
partners at the Buddy Picnic. Here, we enjoy pizza and establish
a contact for the associate members to consult should they
We began a freshman advising session
in the fall of 2001. Junior and senior members announced their
majors and outside academic activities to assembled freshman
pre-health students. After these introductions, the gathering
broke down into smaller groups according to major. Freshmen
had the opportunity to ask upperclassmen of similar academic
interests about their experiences. This was an excellent chance
to speak frankly with freshmen, providing them with candid
answers they may ordinarily lack access to through traditional
Each spring, seniors who had interviews
helped juniors preparing to entertain graduate admissions
panels. Senior applicants to a physician assistant program,
dentistry school, and medical schools in four different states
discussed typical questions and relayed wisdom from their
interviews. Juniors received practical advice on presenting
a comfortable, intelligent, and professional image.
We also sponsored interview panels
coordinated through our engaged learning faculty. These panels
conducted mock interviews that allowed both faculty and fellow
students to provide constructive feedback on applicants' dialogues.
Our chapter conducted biannual fundraisers
by administering Kaplan simulations of the MCAT, DAT, VMAT,
and PCAT. Kaplan's sponsorship of these events enables South
Carolina Beta to present our pre-health students with an objective
glance at their respective professional admissions tests.
Their sponsorship also allowed us to offer discounted Kaplan
MCAT preparatory classes at fundraiser auctions; two of these
classes take place on campus each year.
Chapter publications (Handbooks, guides,
From the beginning of their undergraduate experiences, pre-health
students are provided with the proper resources and counseling
for their career paths. Dr. Thompson distributes a planning
guide to all incoming students who profess an interest in
health professions (nearly 20% of all freshmen). This contains
valuable information on recommended course work and extracurricular
activities geared towards a future health career.
AED hosts Junior Jumpstart each October. Here, Dr. Thompson
provides junior students with the Health Career Planning Guide.
This comprehensive handbook describes internship opportunities,
pre-professional admissions tests, the application process,
affiliated armed services programs, and financial aid for
professional school. The Guide has evolved to include the
latest admissions data from Furman graduates, providing upperclassmen
with the clearest and most objective representation of professional
school admissions. It is now easily accessible on the internet.
South Carolina Beta issues the monthly
AED Newsletter to full and associate members. Dr. Thompson
produces this publication, while our officers distribute it.
The Newsletter keeps members informed of official AED activities,
such as speakers and trips. It also provides information beneficial
to the course work and professional school application process
of the individual student.
Awards and scholarships presented by the chapter to promote
excellence in health-related preprofessional education
Our chapter sponsors two scholarships
awarded to outstanding graduating members.
The Robert Emmett Allen Premedical
Prize is worth $300. The chapter advisor awards this prize
based on outstanding character and accomplishment in the premedical
education program. Recipients of this award were Richard Brooks
(2000) and Jason Vassy (2001).
The Alpha Epsilon Delta Scholarship
Award is worth $200. The membership of the chapter selects
the candidate for this award based on faithful service to
the society and potential as a health professional. Recipients
included Cara Rhodes (2000) and Brian Lingerfelt (2001).
South Carolina Beta implements a variety of media to keep our members
informed. These include:
- Monthly AED Newsletter distributed to full and associate members
- Campus-wide posters advertising medically-related
speakers, classes, and other events
- Annual edition of the Scalpel
- Email reminders of important meetings,
events, and deadlines
5: Initiation Activities
and Social Events
During March of each year, South Carolina
Beta inducts new members in Hartness Pavilion, the primary banquet
facility at Furman University. Initiation begins with a solemn ceremony
led by the five major officers of the chapter. Each officer addresses
the inductees, explaining what various elements of the AED coat
of arms represent. The president gives a short welcome to the inductees
and then prompts them to recite a pledge of allegiance to the society.
Each inductee processes to the podium to introduce him/herself by
providing major, hometown, and career interest. The chapter advisor
welcomes the inductees and leads the invocation. All students, parents,
faculty, and guests then take seats to enjoy dinner. A guest speaker
from the medical community closes by sharing some wisdom gained
through his/her vocational pursuits.
South Carolina Beta has taken great pleasure
in welcoming large inductee classes over the last two years. Our
chapter set a record with 58 students inducted on March 11, 2001.
Dr. Richard A. Hoppmann, Associate Dean
for Medical Education and Academic Affairs, USCSM, gave a brilliant
lecture on prominent medical themes in the visual arts during
our 2001 induction banquet.
Through tradition and innovation, South
Carolina Beta has arranged its activities to provide the best
opportunities for the members it represents. Our members benefit
from the intellectual and interpersonal experiences we sponsor.
We have enjoyed increasing the number and intimacy of the contacts
with the community we will serve as professionals. South Carolina
Beta expects nothing less than continued excellence in the preparation
of dynamic healthcare professionals at Furman University.
Laura K. Thompson
Members Initiated: 2000/2001
|No. of Student
||No. of Honorary
as of January 1, 2000
|Association of Furman Students
|National Membership Fees
|Balance as of Dec. 31,