About AHEC Scholars

As part of the NC AHEC Scholars program, the Charlotte AHEC Scholars Program recruits, trains, and supports a diverse group of students enrolled in health professions programs across an 8 county region (Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Union) in North Carolina. Together these students create an interdisciplinary team of health professionals devoted to the transformation of health care in North Carolina. We seek individuals who are committed to improving health and health care, devoted to community service, and interested in improving their own skills and in working with other professionals in team-based care.

With an emphasis on underrepresented minorities, rural, and first-generation college students, the Charlotte AHEC Scholars Program aims to improve the diversity and distribution of all health professions and support health systems transformation across the state. Each class of Charlotte AHEC Scholars represents a variety of health professions and institutions across the Charlotte AHEC Region.

Selected applicants participate in a 2-year educational program and may receive an $800 travel expense subsidy ($400 per year, subject to academic or institutional approval). Each AHEC Scholar will receive a NC AHEC Scholars Certificate, setting them apart from other students in an increasingly competitive environment. Selected scholars will meet students and faculty from academic institutions throughout the region and state. Scholars will be a part of a network of healthcare leaders and students, creating an invaluable opportunity to expand their network and support future career goals.

Scholars will participate in both experiential and didactic learning opportunities that will explore topics such as:

  • Health Literacy
  • Health System Science (Business of Healthcare)
  • Ethics
  • Health Disparities
  • Mental Health
  • Quality Improvement
  • Career Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence

Program Eligibility

  • Must be currently enrolled in a college-level health professions education training program in Charlotte AHEC Region by August 31, 2019
  • Reliable access to Wi-Fi
  • Must have access to reliable transportation
  • Eligible to work inside the United States

Scholar Responsibilities

  • Must be committed to the AHEC Scholars Program for a total of 2 years
  • Complete 40 hours of didactic training each year of the program
  • Complete 40 hours of experiential training each year of the program
  • Must complete all required assignments
  • Scholars are expected to attend the following dates for didactic instruction (2021-2022 dates will be released in Spring of 2020):
    Tentative Didactic Instruction Schedule
    • September 14, 2019
    • October 12, 2019
    • November 9, 2019
    • December 2019 – No seminar
    • January 11, 2020
    • February 8, 2020
    • March 14, 2020
  • Experiential learning will occur in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021


  • Scholars will receive $800 allowance ($400 per year) to offset expenses.
  • Scholars will have opportunities to engage and network with thought leaders in health administration, public health, medicine, academia, etc.
  • Scholars will be better positioned to work with diverse patients in rural and/or underserved communities.
  • Network with like-minded students that want to make a difference in healthcare.
  1. Download 2019 AHEC Scholars Application
  2. Save it to your computer to complete
  3. A completed application will include the following materials:
    • AHEC Scholars Application
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    • Copy of Official Transcript
    • Resume
    • Additional information may be required upon selection such as:
      • Background Check to be completed by Charlotte AHEC
      • Immunization Records Upon Selection (Mandatory for clinical learning)
  4. Email Completed Application to Paulina.Crass@AtriumHealth.org
  5. Application Deadline: May 1, 2019
Important Dates for Applicants
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance: July 1, 2019
  • Orientation: September 14, 2019
Avonne Armbrister
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Master of Public Health in Community Health Practice
Riane Barrera
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Health Systems Management
Jesseicka Brown
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Exercise Science
Andre'Anna Burch
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Health Systems Management
Taia Crews
Capella University
Public Health
Delvenia Crowell
Gaston College
Ashley Crumpler
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Health Systems Management
Nylah Lemard
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Public Health
Alexia Morgan
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Public Health and Exercise Science
Noha Orabi
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Public Health and Health Systems Management
Darnisha Pulley
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Public Health
Sydney Stepney
Queens University of Charlotte
Public Health and Dietetics
Sandra Zepeda
Wingate University
Physical Therapy
Michael Ruhlen, MD, MHCM, FAAP, FACHE
Director, Charlotte AHEC
Vice President, Division of Medical Education, Atrium Health
Joann Spaleta, FACHE, CDP, MBA, MHA
Assistant Vice President
Charlotte AHEC
Michelle Boyd, MS, CSSGB, CDP
Director, Health Careers, Diversity & Quality Education
Charlotte AHEC
Paulina Crass, BA, CSSGB
Education Specialist
Charlotte AHEC
Ajiri Barnes, MD
Site-based Medical Director
Cabarrus Family Medicine, Prosperity Crossing
Lori Bequette, PhD
Provost/Academic Affairs/ CCHS, Academic Affairs
Carolinas College of Health Sciences
Delores D A Benn, DNP, MSN, RN
Dean of Nursing
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Tiffany Brown, MSN, RN
School Nurse Supervisor
Mecklenburg County Public Health
Kamaria Brown, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Care Team Leader
Atrium Health Biddle Point Family Practice
Manuel Campbell
Clinic Director of Levine Children's Specialty Centers
Atrium Health
Quinn Carroll, LCSW
Atrium Health
Valencia Davis, MHA
Program Manager
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Carolyn Ford, PharmD
Wingate University School of Pharmacy
Vicki Gardin, PharmD
Network Clinical Pharmacist
Atrium Health
Liliana Gismondi-Crook
Manager of Language Services
Atrium Health Cabarrus
Diane Holmes, MSN, FNP-BC, CHFN, CCTC
Heart Transplant / VAD Coordinator
Atrium Health
Donald Howard, MS, OT/L, CLT
Assistant Manager
CaroMont Rehab and Sports Medicine
Kimberly Lewis, M.Ed., CPhT
Program Head Pharmacy Technology
Stanly Community College
Tiffany Long
Physician Education/Operations
Atrium Health Cabarrus Physician Education Office
Vondra Love
Senior HR Consultant
Atrium Health
Meg Patchett, PhD
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Kimberly Rouse, MPH
Manager, Clinical Analytics
Information and Analytic Services, Atrium Health
Michael Thompson, MS, DrPH
Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences
Director, MHA Program
Director, Health Informatics and Analytics Program
UNC Charlotte
Maureen Walsh Koricke, PhD
Director of MHA Program
Assistant Professor of Health Administration
Queens University of Charlotte
Sheila Wright, MSN, RN
Coordinator Mecklenburg/York Counties Faith Community Health Ministry
Community Health

Charlotte AHEC Scholars Regional Advisory Committee meets bi-monthly to provide support for our Charlotte AHEC Scholars Program.

Paulina Crass, BA, CSSGB
Education Specialist
Charlotte AHEC