College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted the 8th annual Taste of the Nations Talent & Cultural Show on February 22 to celebrate Black History Month. The following organizations and offices at NYIT worked together in a collaborative effort for the success of the event: Student National Medical Association, Offices of Student Life & Equity and Opportunity, LMSA, UAAO, AOASM, SOMA, AOCPMR & GHO to create an amazing multicultural event.
The Keynote speaker was Dr. Darrell Grace from Ohio. Dr. Grace is board certified in Internal Medicine, the recipient of the Richard L. Alper award for community service at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Grace completed a 1 year Osteopathic Heritage Health Policy Fellowship from the American Osteopathic Association, The Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the New York Institute of Technology. Amongst her many accomplishments she was awarded the Riland medal for community service at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on September 17, 2007. On October 6, 2007, she was given an award from the American Cancer Society for community service, and was inducted into the AOA’s mentor hall of fame. She helped establish Grace Place Medical Service, in association with the Greater Youngstown Coalition of Christians, to form a clinic for the under-served, uninsured, and the under-insured. She is the chair for Community Outreach for the National Osteopathic Medical Association, organizing health fairs for the homeless at the national conventions which NYCOM Office of Student Life has been involved with for many years.
Taste of the Nations is a talent and cultural show hosted every year by the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the Office of Student Life and the Office of Equity and Opportunity. This year we also had the kind support of from other organizations that included: LMSA, SOMA, UAAO, AOASM, GHO, and AOACPMR. The show is usually the grand finale to a series of small events, held every week, during the month of February, in commemoration of Black History Month.
Every year, this show is one of the major events at NYCOM for the mere fact that it allows students to demonstrate their talent and provide exposure and awareness to cultural diversity; nevertheless, it proved to be just that. The show began with keynote speaker Dr. Darryl Lynn Grace, who provided an inspirational, educational and exemplary talk, entitled: A New Paradigm: Trust and Parity through Cultural Competency. We were honored and humbled to have such a distinguished physician speak at our event.
Our guests then enjoyed a delicious hot dinner that gave them the opportunity to sample tastes from different nations of which included dishes from Africa, Jamaica, Spain, United States, and Italy to name a few. The show started with a parade of students that announced countries that were representative of our student body at NYCOM. The talent show included vocal performances by Beatrice Desir, Jillian Scambia, Victoria Grasso, Alyssa Bennett and Chris Papadopoulus. Derek Cheng played the cello and was accompanied by Allison Hoyle on the piano. Allison Hoyle, Morgan Kim, Srini Sundar and Derek Cheng, performed a classical piece with violins, cello and the piano. Erica Altschul, Nicole Yuzuk, Rachel Fitz, Smita Prakash, Rita Damico, and Alysia Kwiatkowski, performed a choreographed dance mix. Richard Lee played the piano and finally, Srini Sundar, Alphonsa Thomas, and Anuja Trivedi performed an Indian cultural dance and song. Embedded within the performance this year were traditional outfits from Nicaragua, Vietnam, Guatemala, India, China, Ecuador and Ghana. These outfits were modeled by Pamela Medina, Angela Caldera-Siu, Surayda Herrera and Anuja Trivedi, Elizabeth Figuracion, Patrick Hyppolite, Kate Murphy and Kristin Gotimer, respectively. The show was seasoned with comedy throughout the duration with the talented Griffan Randall, who kindly hosted the event.
The Taste of the Nations proved to be a successful celebration of Black History month in addition to providing cultural awareness across a multitude of heritages. We were lucky to raise money as well as collect a number of non-perishable items of which all were donated to Island Harvest, a hunger relief organization here in Long Island.