Dr. Britney Reulet, left, and Dr. Shannon Singletary were named 2024 SHRP Alumni Award winners. Reulet was named this year's Early Achievement Award winner.
Dr. Britney Reulet, left, and Dr. Shannon Singletary were named 2024 SHRP Alumni Award winners.
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SHRP recognizes Alumnus of the Year, Early Career Achievement award winners

Published on Monday, April 8, 2024

By: Danny Barrett Jr., dlbarrett@umc.edu

Photos By: Jay Ferchaud/ UMMC Communications

The School of Health Related Professions has named Dr. Shannon Singletary as its 2024 Alumnus of the Year and Dr. Britney Reulet as its Early Career Achievement Award winner.

It was a form of job-shadowing that first got Singletary (’97, ’04) interested in a career helping people get back to either work or play.

“I had a mentor back in high school in Kosciusko who was a physical therapist and let me ride along on home health visits,” Singletary said. “I saw the impact he made on people’s lives. It led me to finding work at Montford Jones Memorial Hospital there as a PT tech during my senior year and summers in college.”

A typical day for him now, as executive associate athletic director at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, is the same as shadowing but with a different goal — being along for the ride with players and coaches to make sure their time representing Ole Miss is as impactful for them as each contest is for fans in the stands.

“It’s about making sure they see you,” he said. “I make sure I’m over there visiting with coaches, traveling to road games and championship games. It’s not just about beating the other team in the SEC. It’s about feeling the experience of a student-athlete and how to make their experience better.”

It’s a “big honor” to be SHRP’s 2024 Alumnus of the Year, he said, as his ties to UMMC run deep. After graduating from Ole Miss in exercise science in 1995, he earned a BS and DPT from the Medical Center while working six years in several roles in physical therapy and sports medicine outreach services. His wife, Dr. Molly Singletary, a UMMC alumna, is a pediatrician.

“I’m as passionate a fan of UMMC as I am of sports,” he said. “I look at the Medical Center as the Mayo Clinic of the South.”

Portrait of Dr. Joy Kuebler

Singletary left a mark on sports medicine while an employee, greatly expanding participation in the Sports Medicine Clinic, said Dr. Joy Kuebler, a 25-year professor in the physical therapy program.

“The Shannon I know has always been a man with a plan,” Kuebler said. “He was a student that we felt early on was going to excel in the profession. The seriousness Shannon displayed as a student is still seen in his tireless work ethic today.” 

It was a pair of working relationships formed during his time as an employee in the Pavilion that he credits for the kinds of strategies he’s helped put into motion in the athletic department.

“The late Dr. Alan Freeland and Dr. William Geissler taught me the rehab of the hand, wrist and elbow and we developed rehab protocols,” he said. “I was passionate about the upper extremity, which is the types of injuries you see in the industrial setting.”

Portrait of Dr. William Geissler

“We both had an interest in how to allow our athletes to return to play early in a safe manner, particularly in injuries involving the upper extremity,” said Geissler, professor of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. “During that time, he came up with numerous creative splints to obtain that goal. I was very sorry to see Shannon go, but his career has been outstanding.”

Part of his current job involves managing the health and sports performance department. He also oversees the business office, compliance and academic services and is sport administrator for track and field, cross country and softball. Since 2013, he has held a lead role in academic research as co-director of the Center of Health and Sports Performance.

He said he makes it a point to be a part of everything the players and coaches do to make Ole Miss sports successful.

“What orthopaedic physical therapy taught me was you must be a problem solver,” he said. “Once presented with a problem, you have to evaluate it and come up with a plan to treat it and provide the proper intervention.

“The same mindset is used here in the athletics department. We’re challenged every day with budgetary issues, NCAA compliance rules, facility matters. In any leadership role, you’ve got to be accessible, responsive and easy to do business with. All those things are taught every day in medical care.”

—   —   —

Early Career Achievement Award

In an alternate reality, Dr. Britney Reulet, a 2012 graduate of the health sciences bachelor’s program, might have been doing workshops this spring in a hair salon instead of attending accreditation workshops for the Department of Health Sciences.

“I was about 21 when I had applied and been accepted into cosmetology school,” Reulet said. “Those plans changed when I found out I was pregnant with my son. But, it was a blessing because, despite that being a fun industry and I think I would’ve enjoyed it, this is so much more rewarding.” 

Reulet, 40, a Byram native and Hillcrest Christian School alum, associate professor and chair of the Department of Health Sciences, and one of her closest friends, had planned to go to cosmetology school together — but her path changed. “When I became a mom, I was working a job in a call center, and I felt there wasn’t much of a future there,” she said.

A coworker at the time had talked up the allied health disciplines, specifically surgical tech, giving Reulet’s path to her current career its first piece of solid ground.

“I applied for the surgical technology program at Hinds Community College, and like a lot of things in my life, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. But it turned into that next little stepping stone that would eventually lead me into education.”

Reulet earned an associate’s in surgical technology, then began her health care career in pediatric surgery in 2007, in the Batson Tower operating rooms. “That’s where I began to see I might enjoy teaching people,” she said of her time precepting students while working at Children's of Mississippi. By 2012, she had completed a bachelor’s degree in health sciences at the School of Health Related Professions and accepted a teaching position at Hinds that same year.

She taught at Hinds for six years in the same surgical technology program from which she had learned the ropes in health care, then began stacking credentials of her own – first a master’s in technology education from Jackson State University, then an EdD in higher education in 2022 from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Along the way, in 2018, she joined the faculty in the department she now chairs.

The 2023-24 academic year marks her second full term leading Health Sciences, which offers four degree granting programs, including the bachelor’s and master’s in health systems administration and bachelor’s and master’s in health informatics and information management. The department also offers post-bachelor certificates in health informatics and in leadership and management.

Helping educators navigate tech-driven changes has been quite the asset during her tenure thus far.

Portrait of Lisa Morton

“The health informatics and information management profession continues to be impacted by constant regulatory changes and rapid technological advancements, presenting a continuous challenge for educators,” said Dr. Lisa Morton, the Health Informatics and Information Management program director since 2015 and 17-year SHRP faculty member. “Dr. Reulet has secured resources for continuing education and professional development and for virtual student engagement since a significant portion of the profession has shifted to remote work.”

Reulet said she’s mindful to add the same kind of human touch to today’s students that helped her in her own journey to success.

“In 2010, for example, when I started as a student in the undergraduate program here, there wasn’t as much in the way of interactive technology the faculty could use. But now, when I meet with students, I give them the option to have a video meeting so they can see I’m a real person behind this computer. We do that in all of our programs. We try to make it interactive but meaningful.” She also says she can sometimes see herself in her students. “Seeing the purpose and drive of older students in particular, I see myself in them. They may take it more seriously. And we meet them where they are.”

So far, being department chair has been “surreal,” she said. “I’ve said before, it feels like a full-circle moment for me to have started my career here at UMMC in the Batson OR, then to earn my degree from SHRP, and now chair this department. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and my faculty are just an amazing group to work with.”

Reulet and her husband, Justin, live in Brandon with sons Kaleb and Connor, now 14 and 18, respectively. The motherly advice she has for her boys and for students still uncertain about a career is a callback to her own journey.

“What we’ve told our sons is that you just have to start moving in a direction,” she said. “It might not be the ‘forever direction,’ and you might hit a roadblock. But you can’t just sit still and do nothing. You might be afraid, but that doesn’t mean don’t do it. Take a step forward and make a decision.”