AACOM Announces Winners of the 2020 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship

September 03, 2020


Pictured from left: Heather Davis, Justin D. Miles and Lynn Allyssa Désiré

AACOM is committed to fostering excellence and promoting diversity in osteopathic medical education (OME). One of the ways that AACOM fulfills this mission it to award the annual Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship to deserving students.

Arnstein awardees are selected after evaluating their applications and personal essays on their experiences, contributions to diversity in OME, and ideas about innovative ways to increase student diversity in osteopathic medical school. From those applicants, three outstanding osteopathic medical students have been selected to receive scholarships:

  • Lynn Allyssa Désiré, first-year student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine—Middletown Campus (TouroCOM-NY)
  • Heather Davis, incoming student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Louisiana Campus (VCOM-Louisiana)
  • Justin D. Miles, first-year student at Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM)

"As a public health professional," Désiré said in her essay, "I believe that osteopathic medicine can greatly benefit underserved communities by breaking the vicious cycle caused by the health disparities that they face." As a Haitian-American immigrant with no physicians in her family, Désiré mentioned that her greatest challenge during the medical school application process was finding mentorship opportunities. 

Davis attended a rural high school that lacked the resources to provide adequate supplies for science labs and offered only a few upper-level courses. "I knew that I was capable of achieving my goals, however, uncertain of how to get past these hurdles," she said. She advocated for an online mentoring portal to connect potential and current students with passionate mentors to help them in the early stages of their career trajectory. 

Miles explained in his essay that his greatest challenge has been learning how to study for the vast amount of material that medical school requires students to cover. "I had heard it described many times as 'trying to drink water from a fire hydrant,'" he said, "but I did not have a true feel of what that meant." Miles believes that to ensure long-term student success, shortcomings in preparation, interest and early exposure can be addressed by forging stronger relationships with public school systems and historically black colleges and universities. 

Visit AACOM’s Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship web page for eligibility information, application deadlines, and more.