Lipscomb's top science scholarship awarded to three students

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Brasil, Oskin and Glassco awarded annual scholarship to assist with pursuit of medical school degree

Lipscomb’s most prestigious science award, the J.S. Ward Scholarship, was given in December to three students planning on pursuing a health science career: Breno de Almeida Brasil, Macy Glassco and Spencer Oskin. Scholars are selected through faculty nominations and a rigorous application process based on academic merit and overall involvement in the Lipscomb community. .

?Breno de Almeida Brasil, raised in Garanhuns, Brazil, is a second-semester junior studying molecular biology. He became interested in health care after his younger brother was born with hydrocephalus. This upbringing inspired him to take care of people, and he prayed that pursuing medicine, specifically neurosurgery, was the path God had set for him, he said.

He currently participates in the Biology Summer Research Program with Bonny Millimaki, associate professor, researching neurodevelopment. Brasil shadowed neurosurgeon, Dr. Rohan Chitale, at Vanderbilt Medical Center last summer. “It was a great opportunity as it gave me a view from behind the scenes in the hospital,” he says. This gave him an opportunity to talk and ask about the life of a neurosurgeon and see what his future might look like.

Coming from a small town in Northeast Brazil, it was a big accomplishment for Brasil to come and study in the United States. He says he is thankful to God that he has been awarded the Ward scholarship.

He is the treasurer of Lipscomb social club Sigma Omega Sigma and recently joined Tri-Beta, a biology honor society.

Macy Glassco, Guntersville, Alabama, is a junior studying molecular biology with anticipated graduation in May 2020. Glassco has shadowed dentists around her community and worked as an intern in design and social media with Propac Images in Albertville, Alabama. She believes her purpose as a Christian is to love God and love others, and her potential role in health care is an extension of this purpose, she said.

She participated in Lipscomb’s Guatemala spring break medical mission trip for the past two years. “The Guatemala trip has been one of the biggest blessings of my time at Lipscomb,” says Glassco. On these trips, she was able to observe Guatemalan and American dentists and “continued to see how the Lord works through doctors to be missionaries.”

Glassco is the recruitment chair for Delta Omega social club, Student Government Association  secretary and Honors College service coordinator. She also tutored Principles of Biology: Cell and Genetics for the biology department. She has been inducted into Tri-Beta, a biology honor society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Spencer Oskin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, is a senior graduating in May 2019. He believes a physician is the best career to apply his love for science.

“One of my central goals in life is to make the greatest possible positive impact on the world that I can,” he says. He is currently working in Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy doing research on a drug in clinical trials for the treatment of ALS. He has shadowed several doctors from St. Thomas West Hospital, where he most enjoyed observing orthopedic knee and hip surgeries.

Oskin participated in a mission trip in 2017 to Beaumont, Texas. With 30 other volunteers from Lipscomb, they provided relief to the homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. This experience showed Oskin the great impact a group of people can have when motivated to help others, he said.

Oskin has received many awards such as the Organic Chemistry Award and Honors College Fellow. He serve as a General Education Council Student Representative. Oskin is a member of Tau Phi, enjoys snowboarding and volunteers at St. Thomas West in the emergency department.

The J.S. Ward Society was created to encourage support for Lipscomb’s health sciences programs and to recognize those who have dedicated themselves to advancing Lipscomb’s mission of education and service. It is a society of like-minded professionals who want to “pay it forward” by helping the best and brightest among the university’s students to reach their dreams in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health professions.

The J.S. Ward Society added two new awards this year: Ward Summer Research Fellow and the Ward Apprentice.

Beshoy Abdelmessih and Jerod Crockett have been awarded Ward Summer Research Fellowships, a new formal partnership between Lipscomb University and the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship Program. Ward Fellows work for a research mentor at Vanderbilt University and live on Vanderbilt’s campus for the summer. To be selected, students are first nominated by faculty members at Lipscomb and then apply through the Health Professions Advisory Committee. In addition to research, students shadow their assigned doctor in clinic and the operating room.

Crockett worked this summer under Dr. Eric Grogan (’95), a Lipscomb alumnus and thoracic surgeon at Vanderbilt, on a clinical research project to diagnose lung infections and lung cancer using radiology and new biological tests.

Abdelmessih worked with Dr. Alexander Gelbard, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Vanderbilt, on his project “Decoding Phonation with Artificial Intelligence.”

Bethanne Venkatesan, junior in biomedical physics, was awarded the Ward Apprenticeship. As the Ward Apprentice, Venkatesan will spend the next year working with members of the Ward Society to plan, prepare and carry out events for both the Ward Society and the pre-health professional students at Lipscomb. These responsibilities will give her the opportunity to hone leadership skills and interact with some of Lipscomb’s most distinguished alumni and guests.

Venkatesan is also working with Alan Bradshaw, chair of physics, this summer as a Langford-Yates Fellow. She is working on an analytical model of gastric slow wave activity in pediatric nausea. Her project involves calculating the electric and magnetic fields produced by the smooth muscle of the stomach.