Sewanee Health Professions Society

SHPS is a student-run group, overseen by the Office of Medical and Health Programs. It was initiated at the request of Beth Phillips C’91, an ER Physician. The goal of this group is to provide leadership opportunities for pre-med and pre-health students. Additionally, SHPS serves as a support structure for students and as a place to learn about networking and finding health-related internships, jobs, and information about graduate schools (medical, veterinary, nursing, dental, physical therapy, etc.). The group is led by an executive board consisting of a president, vice president, secretary/tutor coordinator, treasurer, and project manager(s) in each of the health disciplines; all are elected annually in April.  

SHPS 2017-2018 Officers: Gil Horner C'20, Natalie Javadi C'19, Michael Jacobs C'19, Heather Pittman C'18, Taylor Hall C'20,
and Hannah Faulkner C'19  



Current Officers

Taylor Hall – Co-President
Taylor is a sophomore with an intended major of chemistry and a potential minor in either biology or economics. He currently serves as the President for SHPS; with this position, he hopes to serve his fellow pre-health peers by offering access to opportunities and information to further their careers in the health field. Thus far in his Sewanee career, Taylor has gotten involved with on-campus organizations including the following: SHPS, SMHS, the Sewanee Fire Department, the Sewanee Chemistry Club, Cru, and the ATO Fraternity. Taylor has worked off the mountain shadowing Dr. Garrett Orr – an opportunity that was provided initially by the Sewanee OMHP. Following his undergraduate work at Sewanee, Taylor intends to pursue dental school with intentions of working in military dentistry early in his career.

Natalie Javadi – Co-President
As the Vice President of SHPS, Natalie is dedicated to helping pre-health students through the process at Sewanee, whether it be offering advice on which classes to take, or educating students about the hands-on medical experiences Sewanee has to offer. She plans to create multiple sub-groups in SHPS that focus on other health professions besides pre-medical, such as pre-vet, pre-PA, pre-nursing, etc. Natalie is a junior biology major who is also a part of the Sewanee women’s golf team. She spent the fall of 2016 interning with Partners for Healing, a free clinic in Tullahoma, and interned with Dr. Evans in a rural area of Tennessee in the summer of 2017. Natalie intends to pursue PA school and specialize in pediatrics. 

Gil Horner – Secretary and Tutor Coordinator
Gil is a sophomore with an intended major of biology and minor in chemistry. He currently serves as the Secretary for SHPS, wherein he is responsible for managing the tutoring program and proper documentation of minutes at meetings. In his short time on The Mountain he has gotten involved in numerous on-campus organizations, many with health and community-engagement focuses. He is an active member in Sewanee’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, a member of SMHS, an inaugural member of the Hippocrates Fellows program, and enjoys attending Earthkeepers and Divest Sewanee events. This summer he will remain enrolled in classes on-campus and have the opportunity to gain clinical experience in surrounding rural area clinics. Following his undergraduate career at Sewanee, Gil intends to pursue medical school as well as a degree in public health.

Hannah Faulkner – Treasurer
Hannah is a junior biochemistry major on a pre-med track. She is one of the captains for Sewanee's cross country team and a member of the track and field team. Hannah works as a grader for the Chemistry Department and is also a member of SMHS, CRU, the Chemistry Club, and Eta Sigma Phi (national classics honor society). While on the Mountain, she conducts psychology research in the CARE (Caregiving, Affect, and Relationship Experiences) Lab. This past summer, Hannah was a part of the Sewanee-At-Yale Program, working with a cognitive psychologist to develop a school curriculum for parents to learn about their child's development from the first trimester to six years of age. In the future, Hannah plans to attend a medical school with a MD/Engineering program and to pursue a career in orthopedic medicine and biomedical engineering research. She hopes to practice while serving as a military officer and to improve prosthesis for veterans and the public.

Heather Pittman – Events Coordinator
Heather is a senior biology and English major who is also minoring in French. She currently serves as one of the event coordinators for SHPS, through which she is responsible for planning and coordinating all social and educational events related to the various pre-health fields. Alongside SHPS, Heather has been actively involved in numerous service organizations around campus since her freshman year, and has held executive positions in Alpha Phi Omega, the national service fraternity, the Food with Friends outreach organization, and Kappa Delta sorority. She is currently the co-director of the Sewanee Academic Diversity Cohort, and is continuing her third semester as an intern with the Volunteers in Medicine non-profit rural health clinic in Winchester, Tennessee. In previous summers, Heather participated in a public health research internship at Yale and has shadowed numerous doctors and PAs throughout the medical field. After leaving Sewanee, Heather plans to pursue a graduate degree in public health before attending school to become a Physician Assistant.

Michael Jacobs – Events Coordinator
Michael is a junior biology major and environmental studies minor. He currently serves as one of the events coordinators for SHPS. Outside of SHPS, Michael is a starter on the football team, a biology tutor, and does research on whale tissue with Dr. Fielding at the University. This past summer he participated in an ACE Medical internship with a neurosurgeon in Memphis for eight weeks and also went to Iceland to study surge-type glaciers with Dr. Fielding and other students. After leaving Sewanee, Michael plans to attend medical school.

Past Officers

PRESIDENT: Abby Bray C'16, currently at University of Kentucky Medical School
PRESIDENT: Angelica De Freitas C'15, currently working in the Peace Corps
SECRETARY/TREASURER: Amy Lee C'16, currently at deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland
SECRETARY/TREASURER: Sydney Philpott C'15, currently in MPH program at Washington University in St. Louis
TREASURER: Veronica Gordillo-Herrejon C'17, currently at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn ‌
ALUMNI RELATIONS: Hannah Fay C'15, finished MS program in Physiology at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
PROJECT MANAGER Pre-Vet: Logan Shirley C'15, currently at University of TN College of Veterinary Medicine
PROJECT MANAGER Pre-Med: Litton Whitaker C'16, currently working at Vanderbilt Medical Center as Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Mark Denison

Recent Events

Meeting with Caleb Rae, PA
by Emily Shriner, C'18, Pre-PA Sub-Group Leader
The pre-PA subgroup met with Caleb Rae, a Sewanee alumnus and Physician Assistant in Grundy County, on January 23, 2018. We discussed Mr. Rae’s career as a Physician Assistant and how he manages to balance work and life on a daily basis. He also offered helpful advice on how to complete PA school applications and perform well in the interview process. His advice was greatly appreciated and helped us learn more about this promising career path.

Vanderbilt School of Medicine Admission Q & A
by Hannah Faulkner, C'19, Pre-Med Sub-Group Leader
On February 27th, the SHPS pre-med subgroups hosted Christina Twist, Assistant Director of Admissions at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in the Spencer Tower Room. Assistant Director Twist visited Sewanee to give a presentation on the admission process for Vanderbilt’s medical school. Following her presentation, she held a Q & A session, answering any questions students had. The pre-med groups enjoyed the insight provided by Director Twist. She provided guidance on navigating through the application process for medical school, what makes a strong applicant, what attributes to focus on in the personal statement, and how to breeze through an interview.

Internship Info Session
by SHPS Event Coordinators Michael Jacobs, C'19 and Heather Pittman, C'18
One of the biggest advantages to Sewanee’s large alumni database and close relationship with recent graduates is the internship availability for current students. In particular, summer ACE Medical internships are popular among pre-health students and offer a number of health-related positions. SHPS invited students to gather in the Spencer Tower Room to hear more about each ACE internship, the application requirements, and how to complete applications. Mrs. Webb, assistant director of Sewanee’s Career and Leadership Development, guided students through the application process: submitting a resume, writing cover letters, and requesting official transcripts from the registrar. Upperclassman who had previously participated in these internships shared their experiences, and Dr. Summers and Professor Gray from the Office of Medical and Health Programs gave advice and answered specific questions. This meeting offered pre-health students the opportunity to truly learn about and explore each internship.

Candy Hearts & Anatomy Charts
by SHPS Event Coordinators Michael Jacobs, C'19 and Heather Pittman, C'18
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and add a pre-med twist to the usual festivities, SHPS invited students to create anatomical hearts using Twizzlers, Twix, Reese’s, M&Ms, and other candy. There was a little bit of friendly competition - whichever team decorated the most impressive heart earned a $10 gift card to Stirling’s Coffee House. The event theme of “hearts” was also designed to raise awareness for American Heart Month, February. The event took place in the commons of Spencer Hall, and more than 30 people stopped by to make a candy creation. Katie Wayne, a SHPS member and Sewanee Multicultural Health Society co-president, decorated the best heart and received the prize.  


Current Sewanee students can explore SHPS' upcoming events on OrgSync.


Succeeding in the pre-health curriculum
The pre-health curriculum consists of a diverse array of coursework, much in the STEM fields. These courses are often extremely rigorous in order to provide students with the background skills and knowledge they need to succeed in health care fields. The Office of Medical and Health Programs (OMHP), partnering with the Sewanee Health Professions Society (SHPS), provides both leadership development opportunities for students interested in tutoring (apply here) and one-on-one peer tutoring for students seeking tutoring (request a tutor here). All peer tutors have not only succeeded in the courses in which they tutor, but they have also been shown to be good teachers and mentors.

For the academic year 2017-2018 the student leader of this program is Gil Horner.  If you have questions please refer them to Gil or Dr. Alyssa Summers.  

Those applying to be tutors need to fill out forms with Human Resources after being given approval from the Office of Medical and Health Programs. Time sheets also need turned in at a timely manner. This year time sheets are due by noon on the following dates: Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Oct. 30, Nov. 27, Dec. 18, Jan. 22, Feb. 19, Mar. 19, Apr. 16, and May 14 (no late pay sheets will be accepted after May 14th!). 

Those who have a tutor may be asked to evaluate their experience so we may provide the best mentorship and tutoring program for students. 

Apply to be a tutor here.

Request a tutor here.