Meet Our Scholars

2018-2019 Cohort

William Coppess

Dental Scholar

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William Coppess
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: University of Alabama
Major: Biology 

Biography
In addition to my bachelor’s degree, I also have a master’s degree in Biomedical and Health Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. I know that this year I will learn many things about dentistry, but I will also learn how to help patients to the best of my ability. I’ve lived in Memphis most of my life and I am so happy to be able to serve the community that raised me.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I’m looking forward to gaining clinical experience and seeing dentistry from a hands-on perspective.

Favorite Quote
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world for, indeed, that’s all who ever have” – Margaret Mead

Seth French

Clinic Assistant Scholar

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Seth French
Hometown: Spring Lake, North Carolina
College: University of North Carolina: Fayetteville State University
Major: Biology 

Biography
I originally grew up in the Memphis area, and graduated at Center Hill High School in Olive Branch, MS. I went to a private university, Lipscomb University, for the first part of my education, and then transferred to University of North Carolina: Fayetteville State University (UNCFSU). While there, I worked in the marine lab, tutored the natural sciences, led a national honor society, volunteered at a non-profit clinic, and assisted professors with their classes. On top of that, I was also a pharmacy technician with Walgreens for 2.5 years. I enjoy learning new things, and look forward to discovering techniques to giving high quality patient care in a clinical setting.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy walking along nature trails and experiencing traditions and food from different cultures.  

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am looking forward to experiences that will help me grow as a medical professional.

Favorite Quote
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

Kevin Harkins

Clinic Assistant Scholar

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Kevin Harkins
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
College: Hastings College
Major: Biology

Biography
My name is Kevin Harkins and I am from Omaha, Nebraska. Recently I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hastings College. I was fortunate enough to play four years of college basketball, so I am a huge basketball fan and I look forward to catching a Grizzlies game! Some of my other interests include hiking, camping, fishing, and just hanging out with friends. My professional goal is to become a pediatric cardiologist and care for underserved patients in both an urban and rural setting. I am a very friendly, easy going, and caring person. My two passions in life are helping people and medical science. It is because of these two passions that I am so excited to be a part of the Church Health family. I chose Church Health because I wanted to do something in my gap year that would allow me to help as many people as possible and gain valuable clinical experience. I am so excited to be part of Church Health and I look forward to embodying their core values and serving the people of Memphis.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Learning how to care for people in the best way possible and meeting all the wonderful people at Church Health.

Favorite Quote
“Strive to become 1% better each day.” – Coach Gavers

Kelsey Henderson

Healthcare Administration Scholar

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Kelsey Henderson
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Major: Kinesiology

Biography
I chose to join the Church Health family because of the mission that the organization is centered around. I would like to serve as a physician for an under-served population and Church Health has made great strides in serving the less fortunate that need quality healthcare. My role will allow me to take on projects that ensure that the needs of our patients are being monitored and met. I am excited that my scholar position will allow me to explore a different avenue of healthcare. My high school was located near the old Church Health location, so I am looking forward to seeing the new Church Health campus. Studying Kinesiology allowed me to see how physical activity is a cheap, preventive measure for many chronic diseases; I would like to see this primary prevention implemented in Memphis.
In my spare time, I enjoyed planning special events and fashion. While at University of Tennessee, I had the opportunity to curate and style fashion shows for models on our campus. My favorite hobby is eating, and I’m always eager to find new eateries in Memphis!

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am eager to meet the other scholars that are joining the Church Health team.

Favorite Quote
“I’m no longer accepting the things that I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis

Lexie Hill

The Well Scholar

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Lexie Hill
Hometown: Memphis, TN 
College: University of Mississippi
Major: Biochemistry

Biography
My name is Lexie Hill and I am currently serving as a Church Health Scholar in The Well. I was born and raised in Memphis, so I am ecstatic to be able to stay in the city that I love and serve the great people of Memphis. I chose Church Health because this organization would allow me to combine my love for healthcare and service. Through The Well, I am excited to learn more about health prevention and wellness—something which I believe is the foundation of living a healthy, wholesome life. I am excited to learn more about health care, serve our families and children, and learn how to better reach our community.

In the coming year, I will be applying to medical school. I am confident that my year at Church Health will teach me crucial skills and lessons that I will be able to apply to my future medical career. Also, during my gap year, I hope to better learn Spanish—a skill which I believe will enable me to provide care for more of our community. In my spare time, I hope to run my first marathon, explore Memphis, and travel.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Learning more about our community and promoting overall health prevention and wellness!

Favorite Quote
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

Jared Jackson

Referrals Scholar

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Jared Jackson
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Major: Biology 

Biography
I graduated from UNC in May 2017. While I greatly enjoyed my four years in college, I am thrilled to be back in my hometown. Being away for four years really helped me realize how much I love Memphis and all it has to offer. My renewed passion for Memphis is what led me to Church Health. I interned with the Referrals team for a semester and then decided to apply to be a Scholar. I look forward most to learning in real environment and helping those in need. I’m also looking forward to working with the amazing people that are employed and volunteer at Church Health. I’m also planning to apply to medical school for the Fall 2019 cycle.

In my spare time, I enjoy staying active. I exercise five or six days a week, which allows me to partake in some (a lot) of the amazing cuisine Memphis has to offer occasionally. Since about the age of 5 I have been an avid golfer. I also enjoy a variety of other sports. You can find me cheering for the Tar Heels in just about any sport they play (especially basketball).

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I look forward to learning and growing with the Church Health family and providing quality service to the community.

Favorite Quote
“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.” – Denzel Washington

Mary Parker Johnstone

Physical Rehabilitation Scholar

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Mary Parker Johnstone
Hometown: Jackson, TN
College: Southern Methodist University
Major: Health & Society

Biography
My name is Mary Parker Johnstone and I am planning to attend Physician Assistant school and obtain a Master’s in Public Health following my year as a Church Health Scholar. While in school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, I studied Health & Society, an interdisciplinary science major, as well as Biology and Business. During my time at SMU, I got involved in a few volunteer organizations, where I fostered a passion for service. As I became more involved in the Dallas community, I joined a nonprofit organization that uses running and the power of community to help individuals overcome homelessness. Through this organization, I realized my passion for working with underserved populations, and one day I hope to provide care to these communities as a PA.

I chose Church Health because I was searching for the opportunity to combine my passion for service with my background in science and health. I was amazed by the mission and values of Church Health because they greatly aligned with my own ideas about health care. I also wanted the opportunity to work in a faith-based care model, because I believe a program like this has an incredible ability to affect health and better the community.

I am looking forward to getting plugged into the Memphis community and being back in Tennessee with my family. In my free time, I love to run and bike outside, paint, and spend time with friends and family.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Getting to know all the members of the Church Health community!

Favorite Quote
“Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Sam Jordan

Referrals Scholar

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Sam Jordan
Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
College: Rhodes College
Major: Chemistry

Biography
I grew up in southern Indiana and came to Memphis to go to Rhodes College, where I majored in chemistry. After graduating, I decided to spend a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Church Health, where I worked with the Wellness Education department. This was a great experience that inspired me to stay at Church Health as a Scholar this year. I’m hoping to spend this year getting more involved in the clinic and in working with patients. I hope to go to medical school next year, and the lessons I’ve learned at Church Health will be invaluable.

In my free time, I enjoy running, rowing crew, and other sports. I also love to read, cook, and enjoy the many live music and food venues in Memphis.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I’m looking forward to getting a chance to interact with patients.

Favorite Quote
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Andrea Natera

Referrals Scholar

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Andrea Natera
Hometown: Born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Germantown, Tennessee
College: Loyola University Chicago
Major: Biology

Biography
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Germantown, TN at the age of 3. I grew up in Germantown and attended high school at St. Agnes Academy. I moved to Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University. Exploring Chicago was a great adventure, but I am excited to be back home! My next goal is to attend medical school and ultimately, become a physician. In my free time I really enjoy being outside, especially playing soccer or doing anything active. One of my favorite parts about moving back to Memphis is being able to explore Shelby Farms. When I am not outside, I love watching movies! I love going to see movies at the Paradiso with friends and family. I’ve also developed an interest in cooking. I am no chef, but I love trying new foods and recipes. I worked as an intern last summer at Church Health and am eager to join the team again as a scholar! This experience will give me the opportunity to interact daily with the underserved community in Memphis and prepare me for my future in healthcare.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am excited to work alongside the other scholars and volunteer physicians to improve the way we provide healthcare to the people in Memphis.

Favorite Quote
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” -Albert Einstein

Sessen Stevens 

Referrals Scholar

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Sessen Stevens
Hometown: Vancouver, BC. Canada
College: University of Memphis 
Major: Biology and Chemistry

Biography
Learning more about Church Health, understanding how faith and medicine are incorporated, and narrowing down what area of medicine attracts me the most.

Favorite Quote
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I left my hometown to play soccer and study at the University of Memphis. My desire to serve was initiated on a missions trip to Belize in high school where the people showed such generosity, despite having so little. I continued serving within the community through college with the hopes of helping in any way possible. Last summer I had the opportunity to go to the Dominican with the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF) and confirmed that helping others who do not have access to medical care is a passion of mine. I stumbled upon Church Health and knew that I wanted to be a part of their mission. I know I will learn a lot in my time here, and I’m excited to grow and challenge myself. After the Scholar program I will be taking one more year off, and then hope to attend medical school in 2020. In my spare time I enjoy photography and finding new spots in Memphis to enjoy.

Shane Talley

Optometry Scholar

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Shane Talley
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: Christian Brothers University
Major: Biology

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Learning a lot

Favorite Quote
“You are who you choose to be.”

Bio
I am from Memphis and graduated from Christian Brothers University. My drive has always been to help people so getting the opportunity to work at Church Health was the perfect fit while I apply to optometry school for next fall.

Christopher Turley

The Well Scholar

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Christopher Turley
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
College: The University of Dayton
Major: Biology

Biography
I have known for a year that I wanted to do some form of service before going to medical school. When it came time to decide where I would go, one of my favorite professors told me to look at Church Health. Impressed with clinic and the year long program I decided to take a chance and apply for the Well’s fellowship position where preventative health and nutrition are the focus. In addition to my work at Church Health, I also enjoy going for runs (I am training for the St. Jude Marathon), gardening, and spending time with my family and friends outside. I am excited to see what this year has in store!

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Learning how to create fun programs that encourage healthy behavior in children.

Favorite Quote
“Love transforms us. It allows us to grow. It teaches us to be ourselves.” – Liz Albanese

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