students walking on campus

SGA 2021-2022 Executive Candidates

President

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Personal Statement: During the past year serving as my class's SGA representative and on the academic committee, I have been extremely active in many aspects of SGA, have gone above and beyond to serve in my current position, and actively participated on multiple projects for the benefit of MUSC. The SGA has been an immensely positive portion of my life over this past year, both personally and professionally, and I’d like to give back to the student body. I feel compelled to run for President because I know that this upcoming year will require strong leadership to carry us into the next school year smoothly. Currently, we have quite a few changes looming ahead of us, and the student body needs someone who will advocate for their best interests during these transition periods. With the learning management system changing, there will be obvious academic implications, and I plan to work closely with the VP of Academics and the MUSC administration to ensure that students and faculty receive adequate support during that time. I also plan on offering additional support and training to faculty and staff before the transition to ease the stress and burden of technological changes on education. Another big concern that has been brought to my attention includes all of the impacts that COVID has had on multiple aspects of our lives, and I plan to work closely with the administration to ensure that we can return to classes and hosting in person events as soon as we can while also maintaining student safety. There are also other issues that have been brought to my attention, including inadequate study space and tuition, and I plan to use my position to advocate for student’s best interests and work with administration to address them. Having served on the College of Pharmacy's Professionalism Committee for the past 2 years along with other leadership positions, I understand the strain of this virtual environment and the impact it has on us as students. However, I have also seen that this virtual environment has opened many new opportunities for us and the way that we can use these to our advantage to further our own education and careers in the future. This ability to envision and create positive changes out of situations that are less than ideal is what fuels my leadership style and holds me apart from other candidates. My core values include integrity, dependability, and consistency. My pledge to the SGA is that I will uphold these values and incorporate a positive mentality into my position to advocate for students and further promote our shared goals. Thank you all for your support, I look forward to serving as your future SGA President!

Platform Statement: Due to COVID, many classes were moved to online formats, and I’ve received a lot of feedback from students indicating that it is less than optimal for effective teaching and learning. Many students I’ve talked to feel it impacts the overall quality of their education, and I believe that it is an issue that we should re-evaluate as students begin to receive vaccines and cases drop. Throughout the pandemic, we have volunteered and served as front line workers, and the quality of our education as future practitioners should be a top priority. As MUSC students, you all deserve an experienced leader who will effectively advocate for your best interests, which I will do to the best of my ability to ensure that you all receive high quality educations to further the practice of medicine. I plan to work closely with MUSC leaders to promote the safe and smooth transition from online courses back to in-person classes as soon as possible. I'm also aware that the Learning Management System transition will place a heavy burden on both students and professors in the coming months. I plan to continue the support and open communication that Sarah Taylor (the current VP of Academics) has initiated as well as open additional lines of communication and support to students and faculty during the transition to minimize the impact on the overall educational experience.

Finally, I believe that advocacy is the cornerstone to effective leadership. I believe that the MUSC administration is open to student concerns including a variety of issues that students face, like tuition and the need for adequate study spaces. The key to addressing these issues is working together and having a strong advocate for our interests represent us at every possible opportunity. I plan to amplify student voices while working closely with the MUSC administration so that our best interests and opinions are presented at every meeting so that the changes we want to see can be carried out to their fullest potential at a university level. My pledge to the MUSC student body is that I will do everything in my power to be the best advocate and leader that I can be. My goals are to ensure that you all receive the best quality education that MUSC can offer, that MUSC is appropriately supporting you through all of these changes, and that we as students are being heard as the future of MUSC.

Vice President of Academics

Nour HijaziNour Hijazi

Personal Statement: My journey at MUSC started four years ago and since then I’ve sought every opportunity I could to get involved on campus. During my undergraduate career at the American University of Beirut (AUB), I was an officer in several organizations and held a position in the AUB SGA. I have additionally held a leadership position in the IFMSA, the largest student organization in the world with over 1.3 million members – a position that similar to this one took me years of hard work to build up to. Upon arriving to MUSC, I joined several organizations as a general member to get a feeling for where I could have the most impact on campus. During my second year at MUSC, I served as Vice President of the International Student Association (ISA) and secretary of the American Physician Scientist Association (APSA). In my third year, I became ISA president and APSA Vice President, two positions that I currently still hold. In addition, I have served on the SGA for the past two years. In the 2019-2020 academic year, I represented the international student body and was a member of the SGA Academic Affairs Committee. This year (2020-2021), I am representing the College of Graduate Studies and I am a member of the SGA Student Welfare Committee. Serving in two committees within SGA, alongside the Academic Vice President and the SGA President, gave me a deeper understanding of the inner workings of SGA and how important it is to the enhancement of student life. With this experience under my belt and my dedication to contribute to the community I am a part of, I am confident that I can effectively serve your best interests.

Platform Statement: The Academic Vice President chairs the Academic Affairs committee, conducts constitutional reviews, and is responsible for drafting and submitting budget updates to the SGA general body. I believe that my previous experience at MUSC and my undergraduate institution puts me in a great position for this role.  In order to be most effective, my first order of action will be to gauge the specific needs of the student body. I want to know how satisfied you are with your curricula, your learning environment, and your overall academic growth at MUSC. I will accomplish this task at the start of my term through distributing a university wide survey, which I will analyze with my team in order to develop a plan of action for my term. I will strive to explore new professional initiatives outside of the classroom, the lab, and the clinic.  My goal is to promote a holistic experience for students at MUSC by supporting initiatives to expand study abroad options and enhance financial support for students to attend conferences and professional workshops. The fact that I worked closely with the Academic Vice President last year makes me confident that I will be able to adequately fulfill all my responsibilities and continue the amazing work that our current Academic Vice President Sarah Taylor is doing. Critical projects include following up on COVID-related matters and construction of the Library and Basic Science Building. If elected as Academic Vice President, you can rest assured that I will go over and above my duties to enhance your overall experience at MUSC.

Vice President of Communication

Erin Doughtery

Erin Dougherty

Personal Statement: My desire to be your next SGA Vice President of Communications is rooted in the opportunity to stay involved and the privilege of serving the MUSC student body as a collective voice, representative, and connector. When evaluating the roles and responsibilities of your SGA executive board, it is important that your VP of Communications is strategic, organized and creative in order to effectively communicate, integrate and implement University-wide events and announcements at MUSC. My first year at MUSC has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone to pursue diverse educational, professional, social and leadership opportunities. In addition to being involved within many College of Pharmacy and University wide organizations, I have had the privilege to serve on both the APhA-ASP and NCPA chapter executive boards as the P1 Liaison. As an intermediary resource, my responsibilities have included planning and communicating events while encouraging membership and involvement for both organizations. In addition to my leadership experience and initiatives to organize social events, I believe I am prepared to serve as the VP of Communications because of my strong work ethic, communication skills, organization, and desire to stay involved.

Platform Statement: My desire to be your next SGA Vice President of Communications is rooted in the privilege of serving the MUSC student body as a collective voice, representative, and connector. When evaluating the roles and responsibilities of the VP of Communications, it is important that your VP of Communications is strategic, organized and creative to effectively integrate and implement University-wide events and announcements throughout MUSC. If elected as the VP of Communications, I would look forward to Inter-professional collaboration between colleges and university wide engagement to ensure that your higher education and experience at MUSC is meaningful and rewarding. In addition to supporting the SGA executive board members, my priorities as the VP of Communications would include making sure that you stay in the know, facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between the six colleges, and fostering university wide interconnectedness, despite chances of being socially distant. Through integrated communication using the SGA website, Engage and MUSC social media platforms, I want you to depend on me to keep you informed and updated on the student activities and opportunities. In order to promote, enhance and protect the reputation of MUSC students, I hope you vote for me as your next SGA Vice President of Communications! Thank you for your support!

Mackenzie Long Mackenzie Long

Personal Statement: My name is Mackenzie Long and I am currently in my second year in the College of Dental Medicine. I have been the SGA representative of CDM Class of 2023 since arriving on campus at MUSC, and I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve my fellow students on the 2021-2022 SGA Executive Board as VP of Communications. With two terms of experience within SGA and years of prior leadership, I am confident that I will be able to convey SGA initiatives to the student body at large, promote inter-college events, and connect to students across MUSC’s 6 colleges. I hope to be able to serve as your VP of Communications!

Platform Statement: I have a passion for integrating interprofessional relationships, and I plan to use this position to connect students of all colleges through social media and the promotion of social and service events.

Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

Brandea Hardie Brandéa Hardie

Personal Statement: When you don't see yourself reflected you feel invisible……. ~Anonymous
Growing up in the small rural town of Bolivia, North Carolina, I learned quickly that there were “two Bolivias”—not only in terms of racial end economic segregation, but also in terms of access to resources like quality education and healthcare. I am applying for the SGA Vice President of Diversity and Exclusion because it parallels my determination to bridge the economic, racial and gender gaps that exist in America through the student platform of future healthcare professionals who will reflect these changes. As a former science educator, I tackled similar issues related to access and equity in education, and I believe education plays a major part in healthcare and access. I currently serve as a Pharmacy Coordinator for the Community Aid, Relief, Education & Support (C.A.R.E.S) Clinic, providing accessible healthcare for uninsured and underrepresented communities in Charleston. In addition, I am a student volunteer for the Students Mentoring Minorities in Healthcare Program at MUSC to encourage a future of diverse healthcare professionals that will represent our society. I will continue to bring my unique experience as a nontraditional student and former public-school educator to expand our discussions and highlight the role of peer and patient education in healthcare.

Platform Statement: Being able to represent MUSC and show the diversity that MUSC has provided; will not only serve this position but the community as well. I have had leadership positions, community outreach experiences, and the ability to multitask beyond the classroom. These are all great attributes that can be utilized in the position of SGA Vice President of Diversity and Exclusion. I plan to continue to promote MUSC diversity and inclusion’s mission, strategies, and practice to support a diverse education experience and leverage the effects of diversity to promote well-rounded healthcare professionals. Furthermore, I want to implement programs to address unconscious bias, acknowledge holidays and practices of all cultures, make it more accessible to participate in MUSC resources programs and groups and communicate the importance of managing bias through education and healthcare. It is evident as a P1 student, that I will use my education and experiences to uphold the principles in this position beyond MUSC.

Vice President of Programs

Bryce DeChamplain Bryce DeChamplain

Personal Statement: Dear MUSC Students, While our education can at times feel all-consuming, we should never forget that attending MUSC presents us with many unique and incredible opportunities for social, cultural, and recreational growth. As VP of Programs, I will work with the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity to develop and execute programs that enrich our lives, help us to experience and admire various cultures, broaden our learning, and cultivate fun and relaxation. During undergrad, I helped to organize and execute a cultural fair that brought together a multitude of student cultural organizations so that each could share their favorite elements of the cultures they represented, from food to traditional arts to dance. As VP of Programs, I will use the skills I learned in developing this event and many others to plan and coordinate programs that bring us together, celebrate diversity, and teach us about our world in relaxing, uplifting, and empowering ways. Furthermore, I will actively seek out input from students and student organizations to ensure that programming reflects the voices of diverse groups and meets the needs of the student body.

Platform Statement: As VP of Programs, I will organize and facilitate events and programs that enrich the social, cultural, educational, and recreational lives of MUSC students. I will continue the excellent work begun by the current VP to provide valuable virtual events and programs during the COVID 19 pandemic, while also working with the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity and other university leadership to develop a plan for safe return to modified in-person or hybrid events.

Adrian Jackson Adrian Jackson

Personal Statement: When I began my undergraduate career at Clemson University, I had the opportunity to be exposed to full range extracurricular activities, all of which reinforced my leadership skills and teamwork initiative. Involvement with peer mentorship organizations, fraternity life, academic leadership and student government has broadened my scope of what it truly means to work in a team. During my tenure, I served as peer mentor for Connections program facilitating smooth transition in college life for incoming freshman and served as the president of my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I have substantial experience in putting on programs on and off campus with the intention of enhancing student and alumni experiences. I also served on student government as director of diversity and inclusion. In this role, I primarily worked with and represented the underrepresented student populations on campus and resolved issues and concerns raised by students of underrepresented groups. Serving in this role was very rewarding and many hours were spent enhancing multicultural inclusion on campus. Now being a first-year student at MUSC in the College of Dental Medicine, I intend to carry out and implement those same initiatives aforementioned. I am confident in my abilities to bring students, faculty and staff together through extraordinary events and programs to enhance the well-being of all here at MUSC. Standard qualities required of one serving in all the positions I held are still embedded in the very fabric of my own institution, those being punctuality, dependability, trustworthiness, accountability, and humility. I am confident in my abilities to serve in this role because I am determined to make MUSC better and more appealing to all students through my innovative ideas, my willingness to listen to others, and my want to be an integral part of a team.

Platform Statement: In my role as Vice President of Programs, one of my primary objectives would be to enhance the MUSC experience for all students to ensure that everyone enjoys MUSC as much as I do and to ensure programs are accessible and appealing to the student population. I plan to create the start of an annual young alumni and current student dinner convention where students from all colleges can network and learn about opportunities after graduation in a formal setting with great food and guest speakers from the community. I feel this could be a great pipeline event that would make MUSC more attractive in the realm of career initiatives while giving students immediate identification with new colleagues. Working with my peers and other executive members to create memorable and lasting bonds amongst all programs at MUSC is paramount. As a leader in this role, I also plan to host many events throughout the Charleston area where students can come enjoy activities on the beach, downtown, the aquarium, and on the water. With the help of everyone on the executive board, not only will I become a better leader but also an even better teammate to the organization as whole.

Vice President of Service

Benjamin Burton  Benjamin Burton

Personal Statement: While in undergrad, I learned valuable skills to serve the community better and effectively build a team. As a Residential Assistant for my dorm, I set up programs for students and worked with other staff and faculty to ensure students had a good experience in their first year. In turn, I further developed my ability to listen intently and mediate conflicts that arose. These skills will be useful in managing a team dynamic and highlighting the strengths of each team member to bring out unique community service projects to all of MUSC. Before and while attending MUSC, I spent time volunteering in Charleston at Habitat for Humanity at both the downtown location and the construction site in North Charleston, at a dental clinic in North Charleston, and Adopt- A- Highway clean-up in West Ashley. Also as the current SGA representative for the first-year dental students, I am enjoying the experience of helping my classmates find events to connect with others. So going forward I will use what I have experienced to continue to grow as a person to better serve others and help the MUSC community grow through service to others.

Platform Statement: During these times it is tough for us to meet in-person, but I still see the importance of being physically present in the community. I have seen the differences in participation with virtual events versus in-person events and the in-person experiences are more impactful. In my role as Vice President of Service, I plan do my best to find small in-person group service opportunities to bring to MUSC to help connect students with the community. In the upcoming year, I will do my best to find opportunities for group service and I will be open to any new ideas to provide valuable service projects and events for all of MUSC.

Melina Therrien Melina Therrien

Personal Statement: For the past two years I have been blessed with the responsibility of serving my class as the MUSC-SGA representative. Within this role, I attended every bi-monthly meeting that was held and reported back to my class about what was discussed at the meeting and encouraged involvement within interprofessional organizations via email and messaging through other platforms, such as GroupMe. Due to my prior experience with SGA, I know what is expected of me as a representative, and what will be expected of me as an executive member. After living in Charleston for only two years, I have fallen in love with the number of students involved in the community. I always have had and always will have a huge passion for service, which will never be stopped. By being part of SGA for the past two years, I have seen the changes SGA has made through the pandemic and how we never stopped providing for our community. I plan to continue to be resilient to changes and always put our community first. From my organizational skills to the leadership skills I have gained within the College of Pharmacy and SGA, I have learned the value of student's voices and how much of an impact we make in our community. I will take my prior experiences and use them to meet the responsibility of this position and excel in it.

Platform Statement: Through my role on SGA, I will be able to build and strengthen all the relationships that SGA has made within the community. Over the past two years I have participated in countless SGA meetings, I have seen the planning for events with and without a pandemic, and I have experienced the best ways to overcome a hard situation. In my first year as an MUSC-SGA representative for my class, I was part of the service committee and was awarded the Service Award because of my commitment to serving the community and having the most service hours out of all the representatives. My passion for service is not for the awards; it is for the smiles, the connections, and the overall happiness of the ones I serve. For every hour of service provided, I know a difference is made by looking into the community’s eyes. I believe that it is important for those who can give back, to provide the service to others who may not have the strength, money, or support to do it themselves. As a leader, I will be able to provide feedback from a student’s perspective and plan service opportunities that fit best with most everyone’s schedule. I will work alongside Susannah McFaul, the Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, to use the connections that SGA has made throughout the years to provide as many monthly service opportunities as possible for students. Thankfully, the pandemic has opened doors to partnerships that SGA may have not had previously, such as Habitat for Humanity. I want to strengthen this partnership and many more, including Ronald McDonald House, Low Country Foodbank, Future Fresh Farms, Charleston County Parks, and S.C.O.R.E. As well as build on the relationships that have been made within MUSC. With the uncertainty of what is to happen next, I will use the connections that have been made to grow MUSC-SGA service for the students to provide a vast opportunity that includes everyone’s interests and passions.