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Ross University announces Eliza Anna Grier Scholarship Recipients

05/05/06

Edison, N.J. – Ross University is pleased to announce the May recipients of the Eliza Anna Grier Scholarship. This scholarship program was designed to help increase diversity among physicians and veterinarians while honoring the memory of Dr. Eliza Grier who was the first African-American doctor in the state of Georgia. It is awarded to minority students who show exceptional motivation and demonstrate academic excellence.

This year’s recipients are Cymanthia Thomas, who was awarded a $2,000 per semester scholarship to Ross University School of Medicine and Katherine LaHaise, who was awarded a full scholarship to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. The scholarships, funded by Ross University, are awarded to as many as 15 students every year. “The Eliza Grier Scholarship is named in honor of a woman with a tremendous dedication to medicine, and who persevered through many obstacles to achieve her goal,” said Dr. Thomas Shepherd, President of Ross University. “These students embody and reflect that spirit. Ross is pleased to be able to recognize their achievements and support them as they pursue their dreams.”

Cymanthia Thomas was born in Quebec, Canada, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal. She hopes to give back to the community by becoming a family physician providing quality healthcare to underserved patients in New York. She is currently an active member of the Quebec Black Medical Association Youth Initiative and the Black Students Network of McGill University.

Katherine LaHaise hails from Denver, Colorado, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. She was awarded the scholarship based both on her academic excellence and her determination to one day provide affordable veterinary options to low-income pet owners. She envisions creating a veterinary clinic that offers classes to help new owners adjust to life with their pets as well as addressing the importance of dental care for pets.

The Eliza Anna Grier Scholarship awards qualified under-represented minority students who excel in academics and show motivation and determination to succeed in the medical and veterinary fields. The scholarship is named after Eliza Anna Grier, who began her quest to further her education in the late 1870’s by alternating years of picking cotton with attending college and medical school in Pennsylvania. After 14 years, she earned her medical degree and returned to Georgia to provide medical care to African-American families.