Burton Receives BlueCross Power of We Scholarship

Academics, News

Lee University’s Alanis Burton, a senior health science major from Athens, Tennessee, was recently awarded the BlueCross Power of We Scholarship from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation.

The BlueCross Power of We Scholarship is an annual scholarship awarded to three outstanding minority students in Tennessee pursuing careers in health care related fields. This year, six students from across Tennessee were awarded. The additional scholarships are part of the company’s commitment to fight systemic racism and injustice and to highlight the diverse health care workers across the state.

Burton is a McNair scholar and the president of Taste Buds, a service club that promotes healthy lifestyles by providing hot, nutritious meals for disadvantaged communities in Bradley County, Tennessee.

Burton plans to graduate from Lee this spring and attend graduate school in the fall to continue her studies in public health. She hopes to earn her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and become a professor at a research institution so she can work to develop protocol to help populations struggling with obesity, diabetes, and other nutritional-related illnesses.

“I am still blown away by receiving this scholarship,” said Burton. “This is the first school year I did not worry about being able to afford my school bill and the first time I was able to go to school without working multiple jobs. It was a wonderful way to finish my college career and pursue graduate studies. I am humbled and thankful for being selected as a recipient.”

Each winner received $10,000 toward school tuition. Winners also received a MacBook, AirPods, and a Fitbit in place of the annual celebratory event, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Alanis is a worthy and deserving student for the Power of We Scholarship,” said Dr. Kevin Ung, director of the McNair Scholars Program at Lee. “She has excelled in every academic and professional endeavor she has pursued including conducting scholarly research, presenting her findings at national conferences, pioneering a community-oriented service club, and pursuing her PhD in nutrition and epidemiology. The McNair team is immensely proud of her accomplishments and her continued contribution to wherever the Lord leads her!”

BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of Tennessee is a non-profit health plan company. They provide health plans to more than three million members and serve their community through volunteer work, taxpaying, and mission work.

The McNair Scholars Program is an academic program for students pursuing graduate school. Students who are either first-generation college students or a member of an underrepresented group in graduate education may apply. The program supports McNair scholars through research stipends, faculty mentoring, academic development, funding for graduate school visits, and cultural events. Named after researcher and NASA specialist Ronald E. McNair, the program values high academic excellence.

To view the BCBS award recipient video, go to

For more information on BCBS of Tennessee, go to

For more information on the McNair Scholars Program, contact Ung at or visit



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