Stillman Student to be Honored on BET Program Re-airing May 31 and June 1
Tuscaloosa, AL (May 29, 2014) -When Stillman College sophomore
Elizabeth Caver stepped on stage during the UNCF (United Negro College
Fund) Evening of Stars program on BET-TV last month, her friends in
Roulhac Hall cheered spontaneously as they gathered around a television
to watch her. Elizabeth, the recipient of a $25,000 UNCF/Target Rising
Stars Scholarship, rendered Stillmanites beyond proud when she
gracefully and humbly addressed the star-studded audience. Highlighted during a segment that included extensive footage of her
sharing her life story, Elizabeth inspired viewers on campus and throughout the nation when she explained how seeing her valiant mother
battle rheumatoid arthritis fueled her dreams of becoming a medical
doctor and conducting research.
Because the program was prerecorded, Elizabeth was
able to join her friends in the residence hall as they viewed the
Evening of Stars. Although much of Stillman's campus was glued to the television watching Elizabeth when the program first aired in April, many people missed the show. Fortunately, it will run again on May 31 and June 1 on BET. Air times vary, so BET encourages viewer to check their local listings for air times.
During the program, Elizabeth appears as comfortable and
confident on the television screen as a seasoned entertainer. She
credits UNCF for preparing her well.
“We practiced everything during rehearsal, and hair and makeup was so
much fun,” she exclaims, cheerfully sharing the details of her trip to
Atlanta to tape the program.
“On Friday, at the welcoming ceremony, I met Anthony Anderson. It was my
first encounter with a celebrity. He teased me because my mouth fell
wide open when I saw him,” she laughs. During rehearsals, Elizabeth
recalls seeing a slew of famous celebrities. “I felt humbled because
celebrities and other people were looking at us and trying to take
photos of us.”
Although she admits that it was fascinating to hobnob with the stars,
Elizabeth never lost sight of the true purpose of being at the taping.
“This has had a very big impact. Not only has it been great for me, but
it’s also an inspiration for other people. I’m from Birmingham and many
of the students I went to high school with became teen parents. Many
didn’t go to college,” she says.
Not only has this dynamic young biology major gone to college. She has
excelled beyond anyone’s expectations. She was named a Promising
Researcher at Stillman’s 2nd Annual Research Symposium. In addition,
she was recently named Miss Black Alabama US Ambassador and will
represent the state of Alabama as she competes in the pageant for a
national title this summer. She will also be featured in the summer
issue of Tuscaloosa Magazine.
Elizabeth credits her parents, who were in the audience during the
Evening of Stars taping, for helping her to beat the odds and avoid the
mistakes that keep many youth from reaching their potential. “My
biggest motivation was my parents. I was always afraid of how they would
feel if I made bad choices. I’ve avoided so many mistakes in life
because I’ve seen how other people have had to struggle because of the
mistakes they made. I’ve learned so much about what not to do just by
watching what others have done. I really don’t want to fail. I want to
be successful and accomplish things.”
“In high school, I knew I wanted to do something to help other people,”
she says thoughtfully. “Being a doctor will allow me to help others.”
Elizabeth says that she has been fortunate to be surrounded by people
who have encouraged and assisted her. “Dr. Andy (Anathbandhu Chaudhuri)
has been a big influence. I’m doing research in his lab on fruit flies
and alcohol addiction. Dr. Andy works with students to help us better
understand difficult material. Also, he encourages me to keep my grades
up and he inspired me to participate in the Research Symposium and to
also participate in a biomedical research symposium in Nashville. He
wrote a recommendation letter for me for the Rising Stars
She says that she is also grateful to Stillman Scholarship Director
Christi Hitt. “I almost didn’t apply for the Rising Stars scholarship.
I thought I wouldn’t get it. I was really busy and there was so much
competition. When I told Ms. Hitt that I might not have time to apply,
she said, ‘What are you talking about, Elizabeth. You can’t afford not
Elizabeth becomes tearful when she thinks about all that her mother has
endured and how being a Rising Star has allowed her to share her
mother’s story on national television.
While all of Elizabeth’s recent accomplishments are impressive, she
hints that she has only just begun. “There are a lot more steps that I
have to take,” she insists. “I have to put my A game on and go for it.”