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Biennial Report of Chapter Activities
January 1, 2000 - December 31, 2001
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:
Part 1: Service to the College/University
Part 2: Service Programs Outside the College/ University
Part 3: Service to the Pre-professional Student
Part 4: Communication
Part 5: Initiation Activities and Social Events
Chapter Statistics/Financial Report

Part 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 later, the
ACS conducted its first Relay for Life fundraiser on campus.

Part 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).

Part 3: Service to the Pre-professional Student

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.
  1. Lectures, speakers, medical films, multimedia presentations, extern programs, volunteer work in hospitals, etc.
    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:

      • "If the Poor Were Important…Looking at health care access from the bottom," Dr. David Hilfiker, physician and writer
      • "Medical School Admissions," Albert Chen, National Director, Kaplan Test Preparation
      • "Outlook for Pharmacy and Pharmacy Admissions," Dr. Peter Edwards, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Pharmacy
      • "Physician Socialization: Does medical education foster a loss of idealism?" Dr. Kristy McNamara, Associate Sociology Professor, Furman University
      • "Medical School Admissions at USC," Dr. Richard A. Hoppmann, Associate Dean for Medical Education and Academic Affairs, University of South Carolina School of Medicine (USCSM)
      • "Information Session," Jerry Blackwell, Associate Dean College of Health Related Professions, MUSC
      • "Medical School Admissions at MUSC," Wanda Taylor, Director of Admissions, MUSC College of Medicine
      • "Opportunities in Pharmacy," Darren Gay, Campbell University School of Pharmacy
      • "The Financial Aid Process for Medical School," Dr. Donald Kenney and Ms. Peggy Lynch, Director and Assistant Director of Student Services, USCSM
      • "Rehabilitative Medicine," Dr. Billy Webster, Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Greenville Hospital System
      • "Opportunities in Osteopathic Medicine," Kassandra Skagg, West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
      • "The Politics of STDs in South Carolina," Dr. Potts, Greenville Memorial Hospital Infectious Disease
      • "The Human Cloning Debate: Are we our genes?" Dr. Howard Brody, Director of Center for Ethics, Michigan State University
      • "Career Opportunities and Admissions in Pharmacy," Drs. Peter Edwards and Arnold Karig
      • "Military Scholarships," Sergeant First Class John B. Runyon, United States Army
      • Representatives from Greenville Kaplan Center
      • Seminar, Drs. Skinner and Wood, Greenwood Genetics Center

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 of Georgia
  • Summer internship at Vanderbilt University
  • 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 health professionals
  • Shadowing experiences at Greenville Memorial Hospital and with other doctors in the local community
Our 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 as clinicians.

  1. Visits to professional schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.
    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 illuminating.

  2. 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 require advice.

    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 faculty advising.

    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.

  3. Chapter publications (Handbooks, guides, newsletters, etc.)
    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.

  4. 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).

Part 4: Communication

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

Part 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.

Chapter Statistics/Financial Report

Chapter Advisor Dr. Laura K. Thompson
Members Initiated: 2000/2001 Period
No. of Student Memberships No. of Honorary Memberships
101 0
Financial Report Balance as of January 1, 2000   $ 2225.00
Revenues Membership Fees  
Full memberships
$ 6880.00
Associate memberships 2406.00
Fund Raisers 2346.00
Convention Registration 2560.00
Association of Furman Students 1552.00
Expenses Convention Expenses $ 4884.00
Speakers 690.00
Social Events 2789.00
Scholarships 500.00
National Membership Fees 3395.00
Operating Expenses 1364.00
Balance as of Dec. 31, 2001   $ 4347.00

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