Growing up, Briget Hyde, a second-year medical student, didn't see doctors that looked
like her. When she was accepted into the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
(TTUHSC) School of Medicine, she wanted to help empower not just other minority medical
students but also younger students from elementary to college.
“To be able to be that role model for a child or aspiring medical student is a blessing and one of the best gifts I can give to others and to myself,” Hyde said. “Just showing them that they have options outside of what they’re used to seeing is something that I really like.”
Hyde is president of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) TTUHSC chapter. SNMA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest independent, student-run organizations focused on the needs and concerns of culturally diverse medical students. The TTUHSC School of Medicine SNMA chapter participates in various projects including mentoring undergraduate students, promoting health care fields with elementary students, organizing community health fairs, working with the undergraduate community and helping improve medical school curriculum and admissions.
Hyde said the group hosts events like Doctors for a Day, that inspire and inform fifth graders to experience a day in the life of a medical student. The event creates an interactive and fun way to expose students to the field of medicine. SNMA also hosts health fairs for the community. This year they said they hope to involve a community center to provide health information.
This year’s SNMA officers include:
President - Briget Hyde
Vice president - Vighnesh Nair
Treasurer - Nkemjika Uke
Secretary - Rachel Nwaneri
Historian - Dubem Onyejegbu
Community chairs - Brendalyn Iweh and Noriko Merida-Morales
Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) liaisons - Jessica Solis and Destiny Anamege
The School of Medicine is supportive with their students in motivating and guiding their students to achieve success. Yet Hyde said with the high cost of higher education, SNMA hosts a scholarship gala to help offset some of the expenses. An event supported by Dr. Steven Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president, provost and School of Medicine dean, and the numerous departments of the school.
“One great thing about this school is that the faculty care so much, not only about your academic performance, but also about you as a person,” Hyde said. “And that’s encompassing everything that you are about; academically, emotionally, and also financially.”
Dubem Onyejegbu, a second-year medical student, and historian of the TTUHSC SNMA chapter, said SNMA has hosted the scholarship gala for more than 10 years.
“The scholarship gala, ‘A Cultural Affair: Scholarship Gala,’ is one of the events that most people look forward to during the school year,” Onyejegbu said. “One thing is the fact that it showcases different cultures together. Attendees get to experience entertainment and auction items from different cultures and have a great time.”
The scholarship gala is a celebration of food, drinks and entertainment. The funds raised go directly towards financial need-based scholarships for TTUHSC School of Medicine students. Last year, more than $40,000 was raised for scholarships and the building of an endowment.
Onyejegbu said this year’s entertainment will include performances by the African Student Association Dance Team, music by the Texas Tech University (TTU) Mariachi Los Matadores and dance performances by the TTU Kahaani Bollywood Dance.
“SNMA is proud to host this event each year to benefit our students” Onyejegbu said. “We hope to raise more this year with the community’s support.”
For ticket information, visit https://app4.ttuhsc.edu/snmagala/.