Skip to main content

Medical Sciences Graduate at Mississippi College Wins Scholarship

Dr. Stan Baldwin

Beautiful beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs make for a wonderful setting for tourists to relax on the Caribbean islands.

But Mississippi College graduates like Valerie Kode won’t spend much time playing with the waves, building sandcastles and soaking up sunshine. She’s going to be busy taking classes at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine the next two years.

Earning a master’s of medical sciences degree from Mississippi College in December 2016, Valerie recently received a scholarship paying up to $10,000 to the 1,200-student medical school. Officials at the medical school based in Coral Gables, Florida announced the award in June.

Mississippi College maintains a close partnership with the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine that began 18 months ago. It makes MC a feeder school to the institution.

“We are very pleased with our relationship with AUC,” said Dr. Stan Baldwin, dean of the MC School of Science and Mathematics. “They have a first rate facility and faculty who are dedicated to student success.”

Valerie Kode becomes the first Mississippi College graduate to obtain this initial scholarship, says Shannon Toher, the medical school’s communications manager. “She is a champion of community service and engagement.”

A love of community service is something that Valerie first experienced as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas. She’s volunteered at a major hospital and with a homeless shelter as a Kansas student.

In May, Valerie moved from Clinton, Mississippi to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten to start her medical training.

After her medical studies, Kode will complete two years of clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States.

A native of Nigeria, Valerie has also lived in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. “Valerie will bring a unique global perspective to her aspiring career,” Toher said.

The Mississippi College graduate first got interested in medicine as a child while often accompanying her mother to the doctor’s office. Her mom suffered from meningitis and meningitis-related infections.

The new scholarship is solely created for graduates of MC’s master of science in biology or medical sciences program. The innovative program at the Baptist-affiliated university in Clinton attracts hundreds of stellar graduates of institutions across the United States and Canada.

Students at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine primarily come from 30 states and five Canadian provinces. The islands offer a diverse mix of French, Dutch and Caribbean cultures.

For more information on Mississippi College’s master’s in medical sciences, contact Dr. Stan Baldwin at 601-925-3321 or