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Volunteer crusader wins diversity
Helping students realize their potential of service to the community
and volunteering is the everyday goal of Margaret Liz Sheridan.
Sheridan, director of the MUSC Gives Back Program, was selected as the
2008 Earl B. Higgins Achievement in Diversity Award winner.
widow of Dr. Earl B. Higgins, center, presents Liz Sheridan, left, and
Daschelle Johnson with their awards April 2.
Known for her tireless commitment to students, Sheridan was chosen for
this year’s award, which celebrates an individual on campus who
promotes equity and diversity in every aspect of work and service and
Sheridan is the 13th recipient of this award, which is presented to
MUSC employees. It was established in 1995 in tribute to Higgins, who
was director of affirmative action and minority affairs at MUSC, and a
champion for minority recruit-ment, retention and enrichment programs.
Higgins died Aug. 30, 1992, while in service to MUSC. Other nominees
for the award include John J. Sanders, DDS, dean, College of Dental
Medicine; James S. Krause, Ph.D., associate dean for clinical research,
College of Health Professions; and Andrew S. Kraft, M.D., director,
Hollings Cancer Center.
In 1993, Sheridan helped establish the campus’ community volunteer
program, MUSC Gives Back, which matched student volunteers from the
College of Medicine to support area service and volunteer needs around
the community. Now a universitywide program, MUSC Gives Back links
students to more than 2,700 events and projects supporting Tri-county
area non-profit agencies and outreach programs. For the 2006-2007
academic year, Sheridan helped 859 student-volunteers, representing
each of MUSC’s six colleges, log 12,467 hours of community service by
responding to the needs of 166 agencies. Since its inception, Sheridan
has guided 5,255 students to provide 157,601 volunteer hours in the
“Liz has always appreciated the fact that service projects are prime
opportunities for students of all diversity to come together and get to
know and appreciate each other while working towards a common good,”
wrote Robin Hardin, Student Programs director, in her nomination
letter. “She deserves so much credit for the wealth of service and
pride that she has facilitated for our students, administration and
Since 2006, Sheridan has coordinated the campus’ efforts to promote
collaboration, diversity and interprofessional interaction through
campuswide community service projects such as the World AIDS Day
celebration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Not a Day Off but a Day
On Health Information Fair at Our Lady of Mercy on John’s Island. On
Feb. 2, she helped students coordinate a health information fair and
children’s expo promoting the benefits of good health and exercise at
Fraser Elementary School as part of the 2008 MLK service project.
Each December, Sheridan coordinates the campus’ holiday lighting event
celebrating Christmas (Christmas tree), Hanukkah (Menorah candle),
Kwanza (Kwanza candle) and a visit with Santa Claus linking MUSC
students with Lowcountry children. She is a multiple winner of the
Golden Apple Award, presented by College of Medicine students.
Last April, Sheridan received the South Carolina Association for
Volunteer Administration and the S.C. Governor’s Office’s 2006 Annual
Governor’s Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award for her dedication
to community service and volunteering.
Student celebrated in
Third-year College of Pharmacy student Daschelle L. Johnson has
demonstrated leadership and an exceptional level of service through-out
her time at MUSC. Her outgoing personality, compassion for others
and commitment helped distinguish her as the Earl B. Higgins 2008
Student Leadership in Diversity Award winner.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and raised in Columbia, Johnson has always liked
to be active and involved with activities outside the classroom. She
was able to do more of it as a pre-pharmacy student at the
University of Georgia and beyond.
Starting at MUSC in 2005, Johnson has been more active and enjoyed
leadership roles with the Student National Pharmacists Association
(SNPhA), Phi Lamda Sigma National Leadership Society, Phi Delta Chi
Pharmacy Fraternity, South Carolina Pharmacy Association and the
Academy of Student Pharmacists. Through SNPhA, she is focused on
developing a positive image for minority health professionals and
promoting health awareness on campus and in the community.
Johnson also served as chapter vice president and secretary with the
MUSC Student Government Association and member of the Multicultural
Student Advisory Board. Other community service include: the Harvest
Free Medical Clinic, BET Foundation Women’s Health Symposium, National
Pharmacy Week, Martin Luther King Jr. Health Expo, Charleston Ronald
McDonald House, World Aids Day, plus other activities.
“Dachelle is an outgoing, poised and politely assertive individual who
has made a positive impact at our college, the university and community
at large,” wrote Steve Brown, assistant dean for Student Affairs, S.C.
College of Pharmacy-MUSC Campus. “She approaches all challenges with a
positive attitude and a genuine sensitivity to the feelings and
opinions of others.”
The Earl B. Higgins
Scholarship recipients are Antuan Herriott, from left, Chakosha Lance,
Dachelle Johnson, Mia Barron and Portia Cohen. Not pictured is Joy
Fellow student Jonathan Jones also praised Johnson’s efforts in his
“Dachelle serves as a role model for her classmates and many
young women,” Jones said. “By striving for excellence, Dachelle’s goal
is to make paths easier for those who follow her. She
participates in many activities that help to promote diversity on
campus and is extremely deserving of this award.”
Previous student recipients of this award include Alex Whitley, Ph.D.,
and Aaron E. Embry.
Another student nominee was Vandy T. Gaffney, a second-year College of
Medicine student. Gaffney was nominated by Jeff Wong, M.D., senior
associate dean for medical education, College of Medicine.
Earl B. Higgins Achievement in
Diversity Award Committee
Walker Coleman, chair; Willette Burnham; Thaddeus Bell, M.D.; Gwendolyn
Brown, DMD; Tom Smith, Ph.D.; William Spring; Steve Brown; Cynthia
Wright, Ph.D.; Sharon Mazyck; Ed Cousineau; Mardi Long; C. Libby
Dismuke, Ph.D.; Michael deArellano, Ph.D.; Joseph Brown; Jerry Reves,
M.D.; and Lucille Skaggs.
Friday, April 11, 2008
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