The Board of Directors of the Pisacano Leadership Foundation, Inc. has selected the recipients of the 2016 scholarships. Darrin Nichols, a 4th-year medical student at the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine, is one of five scholars selected as a 2016 Pisacano Scholar. He is the first WVU medical student selected as a Pisacano Scholar since the start of the program in 1993. Darrin also received his undergraduate degree from West Virginia University.
Darrin Nichols, a 2016 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at West Virginia University School of Medicine. Darrin graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University (WVU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology.
As an undergraduate student at WVU, Darrin was accepted into the WVU Honors College. As a WVU Honors Scholar he completed an honors thesis in Biology, examining the inflammatory relationship between asthma, obesity, and insulin resistance in children. As a senior, Darrin was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and was a recipient of the West Virginia University Foundation Outstanding Senior Award, an award given to students for their academic achievement, community service, research, and leadership skills. Darrin continues to volunteer alongside his family with a local youth basketball league as a volunteer coach, referee, statistician and administrative assistant, which he has done since middle school. He also served as a resident assistant at WVU and was recognized each year as the Resident Assistant of the Year for his dormitory.
Since beginning medical school, Darrin has continued to win awards and accolades. In 2014, 2015, and 2016 he was the recipient of the West Virginia University Institute for Community and Rural Health Scholarship, which recognizes students who are dedicated to becoming primary care providers in rural or underserved areas of West Virginia. Earlier this year he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Darrin has been involved in a number of research projects, including ongoing current research focusing on diabetes education in underserved populations. He has designed an educational workbook that participants will follow throughout the course of a program developed with other WVU medical students and volunteers. He has served as President of Stepping Stones and Student Coordinator of MUSHROOM, programs at WVU that involve medical students and local physicians conducting street rounds to provide basic necessities and medical care to the unsheltered populations of Martinsburg, WV and Morgantown, WV, respectively. Darrin is also the medical student coordinator of the Prevention of the Abuse of Substances in Students (PASS) Program for his local high school – a program he designed and obtained grant funding for with the collaboration of a local rural physician. Darrin was recently awarded the 2016 WVU School of Medicine – Eastern Division Community Health Outreach Award. He has also been named a Rural Scholar in the Department of Family Medicine at WVU School of Medicine – Charleston Division, a designation given to students dedicated to becoming family physicians and provides acceptance into the Charleston Area Medical Center Family Medicine residency program.
After residency, Darrin hopes to return to his hometown in West Virginia to practice as a family physician and to continue to provide education to students interested in Family Medicine, just as his mentors have done for him.