DMU student earns prestigious AOF award

Tara Blalock Hughes, D.O.'15
Tara Blalock Hughes, D.O.’15

Tara Blalock Hughes, a third-year student in Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), has served as president of her class and of the COM Student Government Association, vice president of the Student Osteopathic Surgery Association and chair of the political action committee of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. She also was elected national chair of the executive board of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, a council of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine that serves as the official voting voice of students of all colleges of osteopathic medicine.

For these and many other achievements, Hughes, who’s also pursuing her master’s degree in public health at DMU, recently was selected by the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) for the 2013 Nichols LEAD Scholar Award. The $1,000 award is named after Karen Nichols, D.O., an AOF board member and the first female president in the history of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). It’s presented annually to an osteopathic medical student whose leadership, excellence, achievement and dedication (LEAD) are proven in the classroom and community.

“You were selected from an extraordinary group of candidates and it is evident that your accomplishments are outstanding and that you are the future of the osteopathic profession,” stated AOF President John Windsor, D.O., in his award letter to Hughes.

A native of Norwood, NC, Hughes worked as a pediatric audiologist in Alabama before enrolling at DMU. She will receive the Nichols LEAD Scholar Award in Las Vegas on Sept. 29 during the AOF’s annual honors celebration.

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