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The GSBS Welcomes 1st Year Students from Under-Represented Backgrounds

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Author: Evelyn Head | Category: Around Campus | August 11, 2014

With smiles wide and hands extended, current students and faculty welcomed new graduate students into the GSBS Family, Friday, August 8th. Coordinators hoped that this event would allow new graduate students to connect with one another as well as reinforce the importance of underrepresented groups in the science community. Not only were new students able to mingle with current students, but they also had the opportunity to meet faculty members, departmental chairs and the dean of the graduate school who were excited to learn about their interests and goals.

Angelica Salinas, a St. Mary’s University Alum, was one of the students who attended the event. She attributes her participation in the R-25 Start-Up Program in Neuroscience at UTHSCSA as the reason for becoming a part of The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Through this undergrad program, she was able to discover her passion for research, carry out a research project under the supervision of a mentor, and learn what to expect when entering graduate school. Most importantly, Angelica cherished the one-on-one attention she received from students and professors. Not only was she able to get the academic guidance she needed, but she was also able to develop the social network that she wanted. In the end, Angelica chose The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences because she already felt a part of the UTHSCSA family.

Dr. Molly Bergman, an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, acknowledged the importance of this event as a means of creating a strong “support community” for students. Ultimately, the joint effort between current students and faculty would allow new students to be better adjusted and more successful in their academic endeavors. Dr. Tim Huang, the Chair of Molecular Medicine, believed this event fostered a multi-disciplinary environment and social networking, which can be difficult when “people are so spread out.”

Before students were dismissed, Dr. Nicquet Blake, the Assistant Dean of Admissions, left students with an encouraging word. She challenged the students to think unrealistically: to think beyond what is possible. Belief in the impossible, but more importantly, belief in oneself would be the students’ key to success.  "...And whatever you do…Finish STRONG!!”

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