October 9, 2023

Tennessee State University respiratory care students awarded scholarships from VUMC

In addressing the need for more respiratory therapists, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has awarded 10 scholarships to students enrolled in the program at Tennessee State University.  The selected senior students will receive a $7,000 scholarship and $1,500 stipend to support living expenses.

“There is a national shortage of respiratory therapists and VUMC has unfilled positions.  As we seek to address current and future needs of the medical center, our partnership with TSU will enable us to fill these critical vacancies,” said Peggy Valentine, EdD., Vice President of Allied Health Education, VUMC.

Upon graduation from TSU, the scholarship recipients will have a job at VUMC, where they are obliged to work for one year. Employment after that initial year may continue.

The ten students include:

  • Adams, Tiffany
  • Griffin, Nikiera
  • Kamal, Diana
  • Labib, Remonda
  • Love, Dominique
  • Morgan, Sherin
  • Sami, Jackleen
  • Strange, Jasmine
  • Swai, Sara
  • Tekeleberhan, Yohannes

When speaking about what this means to students and VUMC, Brenda Batts, DHA, MPH, RRT-NPS, Respiratory Care program director, said, “Vanderbilt could have gone anywhere to fill their vacant positions, but they came to us, a historically black college and university.  This means so much to us and the students who will pursue this opportunity.”

VUMC and TSU began the partnership earlier this year.  As the only baccalaureate degree program in the region, the respiratory care program prepares leaders for the profession. Several program graduates already work at VUMC, including Crista Sala, Director of Pediatric Respiratory Care Department at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.  According to Christa, “I am a proud alumna and a former faculty member of the program at TSU.  I know what the students need to know, and this partnership is a win-win for all of us.”