Alumna Wins Bronze at Olympics

A woman and a man dressed i white Team USA track suits hold their bronze medals in Tokyo
Madelynn Bernau and her mixed-trap shooting partner, Brian Burrows

Madelynn Bernau (UTS ’20) and her mixed-trap shooting partner, Brian Burrows, won the bronze medal for the U.S. during the Olympics in Tokyo. This was the first time a UT Southern alumna won an Olympic medal.

Bernau competed in the women’s shotgun events, ’women’s trap and ’women’s mixed trap. The mixed team trap event, consisting of one male and one female, made its Olympic debut this year.

Waleska Soto (UTS ’14) represented her home country of Guatamala in women’s trap. She finished 23rd.

Soto competed on the former Martin Methodist College’s (MMC) inaugural clay-target team for two seasons. Originally a part of the softball team at MMC and a member of the Guatemalan national softball team, Soto joined clay target after the removal of softball from the Olympics. Soto accomplished her dream of becoming an Olympian when she finished fourth at the 2019 Pan American Games to secure her spot on the Guatemalan team for Tokyo.

Turner Center Launches Rural Health Advocacy Network

Allen Stanton

The Turner Center for Rural Vitality is launching a new initiative to expand access to health care in Giles County. The Rural Health Advocacy Network will train advocates who will support community members on their healthcare journeys in an effort to reduce the cost of care to patients and make the community healthier.

Modeled after an initiative at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis, the Rural Health Advocacy Network will focus on education around preventative care and wellness, helping members find the right doctor at the right time and helping follow post-hospitalization instructions. Improvement in those categories is strongly correlated with healthier communities, less medical debt and a decrease in poverty.

“Being an advocate can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be. An advocate might just text someone to remind them to take their medication, listen to someone when they’re going through a hard time or help get someone to their appointments,” says Allen Stanton, Turner Center for Rural Vitality executive director.

Founder’s Circle Supports UTS

Every institution needs a strong foundation. Thanks to the generous donors of the Founder’s Circle, UT Southern is poised for a strong future.

Inspired by a $1 million matching gift by UT System President Randy Boyd, the Boyd’s Founder Circle represents a commitment of $25,000 and a dedication to the mission and values of the University of Tennessee. The contributions will be used to aid in the transition period, provide support for students and further UT Southern’s mission in the community and region.

“We are grateful to President Boyd and all the members of our communities who recognized the important role that UTS will play in our region. Their generosity ensures that we’ll be able to begin our first academic year as part of the University of Tennessee Southern on strong footing,” says Chancellor Mark La Branche.