May 12, 2021

Black Commissioned Officers Advisory Group COSTEP Program

April 13, 2021

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

This webinar is part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Learning Collaborative. The Black Commissioned Officers Advisory Group (BCOAG) COSTEP program offers paid internships and employment opportunities to HBCU students who are pursuing degrees in health-related fields. BCOAG is offered under the United Stated Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.


  • LCDR Barbara Mason, RN  is a recruitment specialist- team lead with Commissioned Corps Headquarters (CCHQ) of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS).  LCDR Mason was first commissioned in 2013, where she worked as a nurse with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP); she later transitioned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Wounded Warrior Clinic in 2017, where she held the position as Clinical Manager/Lead Nurse before taking on her current at assignment at CCHQ in 2020. LCDR Mason is a very busy mother of five, enjoys teaching BLS, journaling and is an avid reader. LCDR Mason earned her Bachelor of Nursing Science from North Carolina Central University, she also possesses a Master’s in Business Administration and also Master of Nursing Science in Healthcare Administration.
  • LCDR Steven Rush, PharmD, RPh is a personnel management team lead within the Department of Defense’s Defense Health Agency. From 2016-2018, LCDR Rush worked as the lead pharmacist for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Health Services Corps (IHSC) and was selected as the 2017 Agency Employee of the Year. From 2018-2020, he worked for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a drug investigator. LCDR Rush loves sports and is very passionate about helping others, mentoring, and spending time with family and friends. LCDR Rush earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from North Carolina A&T State University where he also starred on the Men’s Basketball team. He later achieved his Doctor of Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
  • LCDR Nuri Tawwabis, PharmD, MPH, PhC is a pharmacist in the United States Public Health Service Commission Corps. He started his career in the Corps while a student at Hampton University School of Pharmacy. As a junior officer, he completed a paid Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (JrCostep) in his second year of pharmacy school. In the last year of his pharmacy program he was paid as a junior officer by enrolling in the SrCostep program. As an obligation of the program, he made a commitment to serve a remote hospital on a Navajo Indian reservation upon graduation.

Key Resources:

BCOAG COSTEP Presentation