Tomekia Strickland '97
Additional Degree(s): Doctor of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
Now: Physician (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)
What are you doing and what path led you to where you are today?
After residency, I continued with the Department of Health and Human Services and accepted a position as an OBGYN with the Indian Health Service and lived and worked on the Navajo Nation in Chinle, Ariz. It is the largest Native American reservation in the country. In addition to carrying out the duties of a full-scope obstetrics and gynecology practice, I helped develop and was director of the hospital's first substance abuse in pregnancy program called "Healing Mothers Healthy Babies.”
I recently moved to Tucson, Ariz., and am an obstetrician for Obstetrix Perinatal Group in the Tucson Medical Center.
What has a women’s college education meant to you?
I was accepted to several top women’s colleges throughout the country and chose Agnes Scott for its unique and contagious energy for creativity and its limitless expectation for individualized success. I felt special and supported by all aspects of the college community from the moment I stepped onto campus. I matured in this distinctive environment into an even more confident woman, a stronger scholar and a more committed humanitarian.
Tell us about a memorable Agnes Scott experience.
Let’s see … the experience of my first self portrait in freshman art class (it was of my legs and toes clad in dark denim overalls and flip flops!). I remember the communal announcement of “hot water” in the bathroom to alert those basking in a warm shower of the ensuing sheet of hot water that came after the toilet flushed. I remember meeting Laurence Fishburne on campus when he came to see Ossie Davis perform at Agnes Scott’s Winter Theatre. I remember learning of the chemical reaction that yielded the smell of mint oil in chemistry lab.
I remember being convinced by my freshman dorm mate to enter the Miss Georgia Teen Pageant. I placed in the top four, and she later went on to win Miss Georgia!
I remember gaining the infamous freshman 15 pounds (bagels and pizza) and subsequently discovering the beauty of personal fitness. Agnes Scott has a phenomenal gym and a beautiful track. I still recall the feeling of running my first race, and I am an avid runner to this day!
I remember the Friday night block parties, Saturday morning study sessions with friends at the coffee shop just up the street. Most of all, I remember the collective experience of having a meaningful group of friends that spanned both academics and a wonderful social life! I am still close to many of them today.
What advice do you have for an Agnes Scott student?
Continue to always strive to be your best. But even in the busiest of times or most stressful of moments, try not to forget the beauty in each day or take for granted the magnificent experience of college. Those days rarely can be reproduced later in life!