Meharry and Vanderbilt students prepare to face off in the second MVSA soccer exhibition.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Students from Meharry Medical College (MMC) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) met at the Vanderbilt Recreation Center on October 13, 2017, for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Student Alliance’s (MVSA) second soccer exhibition. The game brought together roughly 50 students from both institutions.
“I really enjoyed playing in a game under the lights, and being able to watch students from both institutions come together for some friendly soccer competition,” MVSA Meharry Chapter President Aaron Yazdian commented.
Yazdian is currently a student in the MMC School of Medicine.
Pranav Santapuram, Vanderbilt officer for the MVSA and medical student at VUMC, echoed that sentiment. “Overall, I thought the event was a great way for Meharry and Vanderbilt students to interact in a fun, non-educational setting,” he said. “Currently, the only structured interactions many Vanderbilt medical students have with their Meharry counterparts are during Clerkship rotations, and those interactions are fleeting.”
In the end, Vanderbilt won the game 4-1. It marked the second time MMC and VUMC students faced each other on the field. In 2016, MVSA students competed for the first time at the Vanderbilt Fieldhouse. Then, as now, the goal was to increase interactions between both schools.
“The universal language of soccer is a great way to bridge cultural gaps,” MVSA Executive Vice President and MMC medical student Adam Evans said. “Players of two neighboring schools met in a competitive, yet fun and friendly rivalry.”
“It was a wonderful mingling opportunity,” VUMC MD candidate Jacqueline E. Harris added, “and it allowed both sides to meet new people and make new friends.”
The MVSA’s officers hope to expand the event beyond an annual soccer exhibition. Santapuram said dodgeball and basketball were already possibilities, and they hope to have students from both institutions engage in service opportunities together around the community.
For more information about the MVSA, contact MVA Program Manager Pilar Prather, M.Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the MVA office at 615-963-2820.
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research in three primary areas -- community engagement, interprofessional education and research -- by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the communities they serve. Through community engagement, the Alliance serves a large community of stakeholders including surrounding universities and colleges, community organizations, faith-based outlets and community health centers. Its interprofessional education enhances students' interdisciplinary understanding and improves patient outcomes through integrated care. The research conducted provides access to experienced grant writers and materials supporting the grant application process and facilitates grant-writing workshops.