At South College we encourage students to exceed their capabilities in the academic field as well as in their personal life. This is why every quarter we give a student the Good Samaritan Award to highlight the selfless acts of our students. Jennifer Milam, a student in the physical therapist assistant program, was nominated by a faculty member for her constant kindness and care for others. As a physical therapy student, she enjoys being there for other people and serving as an example to fellow classmates. Jennifer sat down with us to tell us about her experiences at South College and the impact of higher education on her life.
South College: Why did you decide pursue your PTA degree?
Jennifer Howard: I had a back injury and they gave me a lot of medicine, but when I finally got ahold of a physical therapist it made a huge difference. You see a lot of people abusing pain killers, and I think there is a better way.
SC: What did you do before you came back to school?
JH: I was in the Air Force for nine years, and then I did medical transcription at home for 15 years.
SC: What was your Good Samaritan act?
JH: The teacher who nominated me listed a couple things like helping a student by taking her to the hospital and sticking around to study with others. I guess that is above and beyond but I don’t see it that way. That’s just who I am.
SC: How did you feel when they told you?
JH: Very embarrassed, but I was excited!
SC: What attracted you to South College?
JH: They have a great physical therapy program and it’s very convenient because all my classes are here in one campus.
SC: Tell us about your experience with the faculty.
JH: I am a constant question person and their office hours are very flexible. If they are not here they make an effort to meet you. There is a very positive environment here.
SC: What is your favorite part of your studies?
JH: Clinicals are awesome! I’m doing mine at Tennova Medical Center in Turkey Creek. The clinical instructor gives me enough coverage where I’m not going to hurt somebody, but is enough hands off where he makes me think and apply what I’ve learned. It is so much better than having someone handing you everything because the main point is getting you to think on your own. The instructors at South College are very good about that.
SC: How do you balance raising your children and trying to get your degree?
JH: They help me out a lot. I am teaching them to be more responsible and showing them that if you want something you work hard and don’t quit. Now they cheer me on and it’s a good time for them to learn something too.
SC: What’s the biggest thing you hope your kids can take away from this?
JH: Don’t quit. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it only matters how many times you get up.
SC: What is your piece of advice for others who are thinking about going back to school?
JH: Self-discipline is very important. What you put into it now you will see later on.
SC: What is your goal after you graduate?
JH: I would love to work for Veterans Affairs–and rumor has it that they are opening an office here in Knoxville!
Interested in pursuing your dreams at South College? Contact our admissions office today!