NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University graduate students have been selected for the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Agenda 21 Internship Program. J’la Jenkins, and Bege Mallam, both public health majors, were among 12 students from schools across the country who participated in a 12-week, paid supervised learning experience for qualified graduate students in healthcare administration or a related field.
A native of Alabama, Jenkins, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public health, will intern at Vanderbilt Medical Center, while Mallam, who is from Nigeria, and also pursuing his master’s degree in public health, will intern at West Tennessee Healthcare in Jackson, Tennessee.
Jenkins was not immediately available to comment on her selection, but Mallam said he is grateful to TSU for the support he has received and honored to be one of only 12 selected to be a part of the prestigious THA internship program.
“I’m humbled to be able to explore the opportunities in healthcare and to experience the practice of what we learn in class,” Mallam said. “Thank you for the recognition, and here’s to illuminating a path toward a brighter future in healthcare!”
Mallam said his long-term goal is to engage in medical outreach and health interventions among marginalized communities. TSU College of Health Sciences Dean Ronald Barredo said the public health program continues to produce quality students who will go on to excel in the field because of opportunities like this provided by THA.
“We are extremely proud of the selection of J’la Jenkins and Bege Mallam for the Tennessee Hospital Association’s Agenda 21 Internship Program,” said Dr. Barredo. “Their selection embodies not only the mission of the College of Health Sciences in preparing tomorrow’s healthcare leaders, but also — and more importantly — the institution’s motto of Think, Work, Serve.”
Dr. Wendelyn Inman is interim director of the TSU public health program. She said she is extremely proud of Jenkins and Mallam.
“Tennessee State University is noted for producing outstanding leaders,” Inman said. “With the training Jenkins and Mallam are getting from TSU, combined with their experience from the Tennessee Hospital Association’s Agenda 21 Internship Program, they get to step into leadership roles.”
Designed to increase diversity in hospital executive leadership, the Agenda 21 Internship Program provides selected candidates with additional exposure, knowledge and skills, that prepare them for a successful career in the healthcare industry. Through close work with administrators and staff, Jenkins and Mallam will gain hands-on experience as part of their hospitals’ leadership teams.
“The Agenda 21 Internship Program has operated for 28 years with the mission of providing learning opportunities in Tennessee hospitals for students who are from minority and under-represented groups in hospital executive leadership.” said Karizma Whitfield, Agenda 21 program manager at THA.
Applications for the Agenda 21 Internship Program are accepted in the fall semester each year and students are placed the following spring with THA member hospitals for their summer internships. Learn more about the Agenda 21 Internship Program at https://tha.com/focus-areas/agenda-21-internship-program/.