Texas A&M Students Recognized at 21st 'English Tea' Event
Posted December 13, 2017
Lisa Cameron (center), with Texas A&M National Multiple
Sclerosis Society, Houston Chapter, scholarship winners Carolyn
Barrett and Ryan Kenley
Jane Welsh, professor and interim head of the Department of
Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS) in the Texas A&M
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM),
welcomed those with an interest in multiple sclerosis to the 21st
annual “English Tea” luncheon on Dec. 2 in the VENI Building’s Mark
The event is part of the Brazos Valley Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Patients’ Support Group (BVMSPSG) and originated after Dana Dean, a
graduate student working on MS research, said to Welsh, “Wouldn't
it be fun if we all got together to talk about our research with
community members who have MS.”
The idea was tossed around and the annual English Tea was
“We started having these as afternoon teas, with hot tea and
cucumber sandwiches, and it's developed from there,” Welsh said.
“We've become great friends over the years. It’s been wonderful
time of sharing research with each other and making new friends in
Welsh and VIBS professor Jianrong Li host the meeting, which
this year was full of undergraduate and graduate students from the
laboratories of Welsh, Li, and VIBS research assistant professor
Candice Brinkmeyer-Langford, as well as community members and a few
One of the new guests was Lisa Cameron, from the Houston office
of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which awarded
scholarships to students from Texas A&M.
“I'm really excited to be with you all here today,” Cameron
said. “One of the things that the National MS Society does every
year is sponsor scholarships for students who are either living
with MS or have a parent or relative with MS. It turns out that
this year Texas A&M has two such scholars here today. We
thought that this was a wonderful opportunity to really honor
The first student,
Carolyn Barrett, is a freshman in the Mays Business School, who
plans to major in finance.
“She is living with MS and was diagnosed at 17,” Cameron said.
“She is a National MS Society ambassador. She actually rode in our
bike race the called the VP MS150. She was a participant and a team
fundraising coordinator. She received a top fundraising award and
the 2017 Stronger Together award. That’s so impressive, because
that is our actual annual bike ride with the MS Society, and it’s a
two-day bike ride that goes from Houston to Austin.”
At Memorial High School in Houston, Barrett received an award of
excellence in English and was nominated for the outstanding female
junior award. She was a member of National Charity League
throughout middle and high school, where she was recognized her
senior year for having the most community service hours in her
The other award winner, Ryan Kenley, is a graduate of
Friendswood High School, just outside of Houston.
“He is a National Merit Committed Scholar, a National AP
scholar, he was involved heavily in UIL math and science
competitions in high school,” Cameron said. “He volunteered over
260 hours at the Houston Methodist Hospital.”
A general engineering major, who plans to enter the biomedical
engineering program next year, Kenley dreams of going to medical
school in the future.
“Ryan's mother is living with MS,” Cameron said. “As you can
see, another really incredibly impressive scholar.
Research presentations, discussions, and questions from the
support group were lively and inspirational. The work continues
with the hope of a cure one day.
"The gathering is a great motivation for us as we continue to
find new clues about this disease," Li said.
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