Ten DO Students Selected for Annual Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship

AACOM proudly announces the recipients of the 2017 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship.

Arnstein awardees are selected after evaluating their credentials, applications, and personal essays on ways to increase student diversity in osteopathic medical school. Of the 142 applications submitted to the program this year—almost double the number of applicants of last year—10 outstanding osteopathic medical students have been selected to receive scholarships. Through dispersing these grants, AACOM is committed to fostering excellence and promoting diversity in osteopathic medical education (OME).

AACOM congratulates the following students:

Naiyana Gravely
Naiyana Gravely, OMS-1 
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM)

"One method which osteopathic medical schools could use to recruit more underrepresented minority students is to partner with HBCUs and actively recruit students at the college level. Osteopathic medical schools could offer clinics at HBCUs or speaker series, which include osteopathic physicians, as well as summer programs where minority students can attend while improving test taking skills and/ or participate in simulations, all located at the colleges themselves.”

Nigel Jagoo Nigel Jagoo, Incoming
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Auburn (VCOM–Auburn)

“As an educator who has worked with students from varying socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds for the past nine years, I feel I have been honing my ability to empower people to find their voice for some time.

“By providing my students with learning experiences, in which I was the facilitator, I watched my students who once said, ‘I can’t’ transition into students who said, ‘I will.’”

072717_Leilani-Magdaleno-Arnstein Leilani Magdaleno, Incoming, University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM)

“I feel that there should be a MAPS chapter at every college in the nation. I really believe that this would be an excellent way to recruit and retain more underrepresented minority medical students into the field of osteopathic medicine. As a member of the inaugural class of UIWSOM I want to start a chapter and partner with undergraduate leaders to pilot a program.”

072717_Christopher-McNeil-Arnstein Christopher McNeil, OMS-1
Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSUCOM)

“Students and alumni of medical schools must play a strategic role in increasing minority enrollment.  Events, like the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) Conference and Med-Extravaganza are pivotal for recruiting minority students, but the scope must also reach a younger demographic on a more frequent and consistent basis.”

“Incentivizing all medical student-government organizations to provide other outreach opportunities to the community’s youth increases the institution’s brand appeal to minorities without overwhelming one specialized club to do all of the school’s minority recruiting. Aligning personalities with professions dispels the negative stigma that comes with striving for academic success or past poor healthcare experiences among minority youths.”

072717_Philip-Mendez-Arnstein Philip Mendez, Incoming
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Carolinas Campus (VCOM–Carolinas)

“As an osteopathic physician, I want to serve as a partner for patients [...] by empowering their involvement in their own healthcare to improve their lifestyles and health outcomes. From my Master of Public Health program, I have developed a “big picture” perspective towards patient care, and enjoy learning how individuals’ behavioral and external factors directly affect an aspect of their body and interplay with other systems.”

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Manuela Noriega, OMS-2
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM)

“The idea of healing with touch is something Hispanic children are introduced to with their first cold. During your cold, your abuelita will probably make you chicken soup and rub your chest and back with Vicks vapor rub several times a day. … Osteopathic Medicine applies principles of somatic dysfunction and delivers evidence based manipulation treatments for patients while staying true to the healing power of hands that Hispanics have experienced in their family for years.”

"When patients come to see DOs, we open the door of the exam room and we provide a warm hug for our patients; because together the patient and us, we are familia.”

072717_Miranda-Nortey-Arnstein Miranda Nortey, OMS-1
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)

“I am personally willing to commit to the task of servicing our youth because my mentors, practicing physicians, never allowed their career to hinder their dedication to help me. In addition, I plan to create a pre-medical blog geared towards minority students, where they can learn from my own struggles and experiences as a future osteopathic physician. I want students to feel comfortable asking questions about a career in Osteopathic Medicine and provide them with a resource that I wish was available during my self-discovery years.”

072717_Optimum-Robinson-Arnstein Optimum Robinson, Incoming
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM)

“I believe that MCAT registrants should receive equal exposure to osteopathic schools via a link to the CIB or a newly designed database in concurrence to MSAR. This will introduce all students especially minorities to both paths of medical education, dismissing reservations while promoting osteopathic schools.”

072717_Jalicia-Sturdivant-Arnstein Jalicia Sturdivant, OMS-1
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM)

“I am now a first-generation minority college graduate and medical school student. Many of my accomplishments began with mentorship from my mother and her ability to expose me to careers in medicine. I probably would not be a college graduate or the only African American within my class of 250 medical students if it were not for her mentorship and support."

"I believe mentorship, access to shadow medical professionals and educational access to be the three key factors essential in inspiring individuals to pursue careers in medicine."

"The Boys and Girls Club [of Arizona, Phoenix] allowed us to incorporate this panel led discussion entitled, 'Careers in Medicine' into their annual Future Fest program. [...] Through this program I have inspired young teens to start a career path in medicine. In fact, one of my recent mentees has received a full scholarship to my alma mater, Berea College to start her education this fall.”

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Veronica Williams, OMS-3
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)

“I imagined a career as a doctor was one for the already-wealthy; admittedly, noting the disparity of socio-economic statuses of applicants and matriculates made me somewhat bitter, if not discouraged. How could anyone without a six-figure income, let alone the daughter of a single parent barely able to afford a used calculus textbook, attain the resources required to apply for a medical education?”

"I strongly believe we need to make the field of osteopathic medicine just as de-mystified and more importantly, available to individuals who may become the DOs of tomorrow. … As a working title, the campaign will be called “Where DO you come from?” and will intermittently feature one DO student of minority status from various COCA-accredited schools.”

We hope that their stories may inspire and encourage students to come together to share experiences and promote diversity along the journey to a career in medicine. 

About the Arnstein Scholarship

Named after former AACOM Executive Director and minority civil rights leader Sherry R. Arnstein, the Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship Program aims to recognize and support underrepresented minority students at AACOM’s member colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs). Read Climbing the Ladder: A Look at Sherry R. Arnstein for more information on her life and work.

The 2018 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship application cycle opens January 1, 2018. Visit AACOM’s Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship web page for eligibility information, application deadlines, and more!


Contact Joye Shepperd



Vol. 1, No. 13
July 27, 2017