PTA Student Founds Black Student Union to Build Community Among Black Health Care Professionals

Britnie Price recently saw a need at Clarkson College. Price, a second-year student in the Physical Therapist Assistant program, wanted to find a way for black students at the College to connect with and support one another. In early 2021, she began the process of establishing the Black Student Union (BSU), which became an official organization in spring 2021.

For help establishing BSU at the College, Price reached out to members of black student organizations at Louisiana State University, where she formerly attended, as well as other national black student unions. She then worked with the Diversity Council on campus to gather interested students together before applying to become an official organization through the Student Government Association. 

According to Price, the goal of the organization is to form a community amongst the black student population of Clarkson College and give a voice to that population. She says that as black students, it can be difficult to find opportunities to connect with one another. “We are so far spread out between programs and cohorts, that we rarely see or even know of other black students,” she says. “This may not be a big deal to others, but when you are actually in this situation, it can feel alienating.”

Price hopes that through meetings with black students and allies as well as on-campus and online events, the organization will help create conversations that are beneficial to black health care students, the College and the health care industry. “This organization gives a voice to the black students on the campus of Clarkson College, which in turn allows us to express our needs to the College and facilitates dialogue for more inclusive health care education,” she says.

Price serves as the organization’s president along with Vice President Marc Austin Jr., Secretaries Christmas Bol and Kyra Kriegel, and Public Relations Chair Precious Davis. The group hosted their first event on campus on May 22 featuring a panel of black leaders in health care and Dr. Aubray Orduna, former Dean of Nursing at Clarkson College, as the panel moderator.

“One of the goals of the event was to provide representation of black leaders that we as black students at Clarkson College do not often see on campus or in our respective fields,” says Price.

The group plans to host more events that will continue to increase representation of black health care students and professionals on campus. Price hopes that this representation can help students navigate the challenges they face as professionals. “While Clarkson College does prepare us to be future health care providers, most educational programs across the board never really prepare you to be a black health care provider.”

If you would like more information about upcoming events of the Black Student Union, contact organization advisor Michael Ehrecke at