Deion Sims, Sonnie Givens selected as 2017-18 Bachelor of Ugliness, Miss Lipscomb by peers

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Two student leaders involved in research, student government, medical missions, the Diverse Student Coalition and the IDEAL program were selected as Lipscomb’s 2017-18 Bachelor of Ugliness and Miss Lipscomb.

Each year, the Lipscomb University student body selects one male and female student that best exemplify the university’s values and principles as its Bachelor of Ugliness and Miss Lipscomb recipients.

This year, senior Deion Sims was named the Bachelor of Ugliness, alongside fellow senior Sonnie Givens who was recognized as Miss Lipscomb 2017-18.

“When I found out I was nominated for Bachelor of Ugliness and recognized what it was, I was very honored,” said Sims. “It means a lot to me that my peers see me as someone who embodies the values of Lipscomb. I have invested a lot of time and energy into things that I am passionate about while I have been at Lipscomb and it is encouraging to see that some of my peers appreciate that.”

After beginning his college career at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee, and transferring to Columbia State Community College for the spring semester of his freshman year, Sims transferred to Lipscomb to pursue pre-med.

A Nashville native, Sims, is not only a Ward Scholar, the most prestigious award given to a student planning a health science career, but also a student-leader on-campus.

In 2016, Sims and a classmate Leslie Garcia co-founded the Diverse Student Coalition, a student-led organization seeking to create a campus climate at Lipscomb that is welcoming and inclusive to all its students.

“I am also a member of the Respect Leads committee at Lipscomb, which was assembled by President Lowry and charged with coming up with initiatives that will help integrate respect in all quadrants of the university, as well as a member of the Collegiate 100,” said Sims. “The Collegiate 100 is a student organization that is affiliated with 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee and is focused on service in the community.”

While on campus, Sims has participated in two medical mission trips to Guatemala and one mission trip to Kenya through Lipscomb Missions. The biology major has also been researching cancer down the road at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center since he began his summer Discover Cancer Research project in May 2017.

“My research is focused on a bacterium called H. pylori, and I study the toxins it secretes and am experimenting with ways to neutralize them,” said Sims. “My current post-grad plans are to attend medical school and become a physician, I am not sure exactly what field of medicine I want to go into yet. I would also like to obtain a master of public health and get into health policy at some point.

“I have been extremely blessed in my time here at Lipscomb,” he continued. “What makes Lipscomb special in my opinion is the people. Between my peers, faculty and staff I have formed relationships that I am confident will last a lifetime.”

Miss Lipscomb 2017 Sonnie Givens has a passion for people as she is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in human resource management.

A Robinson, Illinois, native, Givens says she was first introduced to Lipscomb after spending a week on campus for a summer camp before her senior year of high school. 

“I remember feeling a strong Christian presence throughout the campus, and I knew Lipscomb was the right fit for me. It has been the best decision that I've ever made,” said Givens.

Since coming to Lipscomb, Givens has been a member of the Student Government Association, the College of Business Dean’s Student Leadership Council, Lipscomb Leadership Summit and studied abroad in Florence, Italy, in the fall of 2015. She is also athletic director for her sorority Pi Delta, has participated in student variety shows Singarama and Stompfest, and is a peer mentor for Lipscomb’s IDEAL program, which is a two-year program that provides education and workplace training to students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

“I’ve grown in countless ways and have had amazing experiences, including learning what it means to become truly independent through studying abroad and traveling across Europe, forming some of the best friendships that I’ve ever had, being a part of Pi Delta where everyone is like family, and making some of the best memories by participating in Stompfest and Singarama,” she said.

“I love Lipscomb because it has given me the chance to grow in my faith and have the experiences of a lifetime,” said Givens. “Lipscomb has become my home.”