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Springfieldian Dr. Milta Little honored at Evangel University

Published on Nov 16, 2018 by Paul K. Logsdon

2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award from Department of Natural and Applied Sciences

SPRINGFIELD, MO — “I will never forget when my adviser told us in the pre-med program that he intentionally scheduled his classes to be the very first ones of the day, because if we can’t get up to make it to an 8 a.m. class every day, we can’t expect to make it in medical school where we will have to report in the wee hours of the morning to clinical rotations. He was right!”

Those were the reflections of Springfield native Dr. Milta (Oyola) Little when she was honored by Evangel University as the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Department of Natural & Applied Sciences.

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Dr. Michael Tennesson, chair of the Department of Natural & Applied Sciences at Evangel University, presents the department’s 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award to Dr. Milta Little. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

“The department recognized Dr. Little as an exemplary representative of God and Evangel University,” said Dr. Michael Tenneson, department chair. “Dr. Little’s professional success, consistent Christian character, and strong ties to Evangel University resulted in her nomination for this award by her fellow science alumni.”

Little graduated from Evangel University in 2002 and then earned a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006.

“The benefit of getting a liberal arts education prior to obtaining a professional degree is that every class, whether directly related to my field of study or not, was instrumental in shaping who I am and how I think, act and believe,” said Little.

Little specializes in the unique health needs of the elderly, while following the path of academic medicine.

Recognized as an international leader in her field, she currently serves at Saint Louis University Medical Center as an associate professor of geriatric medicine and the director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program.

She has been selected for three Duke University Fellowships and the Harvard-Macy Scholar Program. She also has postgraduate training from the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing.

Little was awarded the prestigious HRSA K01 Geriatric Academic Career Award and has over 20 publications and book chapters in top geriatric publications.

She has served as president and a board member of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, and serves on the editorial board for the Missouri Association of Long-Term Care Providers. Additionally, she was awarded Best Doctors in Saint Louis, Missouri, 2013-2018.

As a result, she is a frequent speaker at local, regional, national and international medical symposia.

Appreciative alumna

“I am proud to call myself a graduate of Evangel University and am grateful that my alma mater can be proud of my accomplishments,” said Little upon receiving the award.

“This has been a hard but rewarding career journey, and I am both appreciative and humbled to be recognized by my department. Every step I have taken, and every success I have enjoyed, has come from God. I give Him the glory every day.”

Noah Holmes, a senior pre-med student from Houlton, Maine, was inspired by her recent visit to Evangel.

“I thought it was encouraging to see an alum come back and talk about her experiences,” said Holmes. “She was very enthusiastic and joyful to be able to be back and be awarded, showing me that she was appreciative of her experiences at Evangel as well. She inspired me to soak it all in while I’m still here.”

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The Little family. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Milta met her future husband, Dr. Josh Little, when they were students at Hillcrest High School. They graduated there in 1998, enrolled at Evangel and again graduated together in 2002.

Josh is an assistant professor of anatomy at the St. Louis School of Medicine and was named the Distinguished Alumnus by the Evangel University Department of Kinesiology in 2014. Together they have two daughters and live in the St. Louis area.

Milta is the daughter of Dr. Eliezer and Milta Oyola, retired professors of Spanish at Evangel University.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Tenneson at or call the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at (417) 865-2811 ext. 8313.


WEBSITE SIDEBAR: Random reflections on her time at Evangel

  • “C.S. Lewis with the great Twyla Edwards is the highlight of every EU grad who had the privilege of taking that course.”
  • “Studying organic chemistry the night before a big final with all the other students at the house of Dr. Bohannan while eating warm, freshly baked cookies is something most EU Pre-med students can reminisce about.”
  • “Hearing about the various MD-alternative pathways to a health professions degree made me decide to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, which I have never regretted.”
  • “Getting to present a poster in Savanna, Georgia, representing the first Alpha Chi Honor Society chapter at Evangel University helped me see how great an academic career could be — even though it would be years later that I would stumble onto the true realization that I was meant to be in academic medicine.”