Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Community Outreach | October 30, 2015
The Graduate School
of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
on Oct. 17 to build a local home.
“As a graduate school, we wanted to provide opportunities for our
students to engage with the community and with each other in non-traditional
ways,” said Dr. Nicquet Blake, associate dean at the Graduate School of
“Habitat For Humanity was a natural choice
particularly since our former Associate Dean Dr. Larry Barnes has been heavily
involved with Habitat for over 20 years.”
Dr. Blake explained that she was excited that
Dr. Barnes and over 20 students could join the group during this volunteer
event. She worked with Larry’s team to install closets in the home.
“We spent the day “experimenting” and creating
art. From the measuring of closet shelves, to cutting shelves to precise
specification using wire cutters to installing shelves, caulking holes, and
finally painting to create a marvelous finished product,” she said. “There
was no greater feeling than seeing an empty room come alive with just a few
brush strokes of paint and lots of sweat.”
really enjoyed the Habitat for Humanity event because it’s fun to work together
with friends to accomplish a goal, and it’s a great way to help the community,”
said Mikaela Sifuentes, third- year graduate student in the
Department of Pharmacology.
explained that you are assigned a house to work on, and at the end of the day
you can take a step back from the building and feel accomplished that you have
put so much work into it.
“After spending so much time in lab making
incremental progress on a project, it feels great to go out and physically,
substantially make something better,” she said. “The houses are small, but you
can clearly tell that the people who move in passionately care about their
community, and the future homeowners are there volunteering with the rest of
Quintero, a first-year graduate student in the
“After having taken an
intense exam the day before, it was great to spend a few hours doing something
very different from my normal routine,” she said. “It was my first time volunteering
with Habitat for Humanity. I know very little about this nonprofit
organization, but I think it is meant to help a subset of people that want
to improve their way of life and that is a goal worth encouraging.”
graduate student in the
Department of Microbiology
and Immunology Meghan
Guzman explained that her best memory was working with other people from
different institutions and backgrounds to help build these homes.
nice knowing there are people who will continuously give their Saturdays to
help others,” she said.
believes that volunteer is important because you not only help families in need
but you are also able to think about the bigger picture.
“When you help others, you also learn to
better appreciate what you have, and it keeps you from hyper-focusing on tiny
problems, which we tend to do as scientists,” she said.
helps to improve the environment around you - cities run more smoothly and are
more productive when those with time or money to spare give back to the
recommends other graduate students to participate.
sort of a stress reliever…we as students have so much going on and to put all
that aside for a day and just focus on someone else, does wonders,” Guzman
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