The Health Science Center’s new Ambassador Scholars for 2016 were officially recognized and introduced by President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, at an April 19 reception in the Academic and Administration Building.
The five scholars, one from each school in the university, are: Marinee Cabrera, School of Dentistry; Ahsan Choudary, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Devaki Emily Allen, School of Health Professions; Daniela Carrasco, School of Medicine; and Katherine Wells, School of Nursing.
Dr. Henrich thanked the 2015 Ambassador Scholars for their service before introducing the new recipients.
“This recognition is a well-deserved honor,” he said. “It is apparent that your efforts have been recognized by the deans who have chosen you for this significant award. You have been selected because you are excellent student leaders, and we are confident that you will be outstanding representatives of your school and the Health Science Center.”
Each ambassador is awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
The ambassadors represent the student body at numerous events throughout the year. The 2015 group’s last appearance as ambassadors, for example, was at the April 18 Texas Cavaliers River Parade, when they rode on the float sponsored by the Health Science Center.
“I’m honored and excited to represent the dentistry school,” said Marinee Cabrera, who holds a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Lehigh University and a master’s in biomaterials science from New York University. “I’m looking forward to interacting with the representatives from different schools at future events and hope to help bridge the gap between the different professions. The scholarship is truly a blessing.”
Katherine Wells, from the School of Nursing, called the honor “a delightful surprise.” She said the scholarship money will allow her to dedicate more of her time to volunteer efforts, such as the student-run Refugee Health Clinic, the Holmgreen Special Education Center and Frontera de Salud trips.
School of Medicine representative Daniela Carrasco is a native of Quito, Ecuador. She earned a business degree from McCombs School of Business at UT Austin and a law degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law before entering medical school. “The Ambassador Scholarship is a manifestation of the wonderful supportive community at the Health Science Center,” she said,” and it inspires me to give back to the best of my ability.”
Devaki Allen is a first year clinical laboratory science student. She received a B.S. degree in biology from UTSA in 2015. After volunteering at the Santa Rosa Hospital Microbiology Laboratory and at a Health Science Center research laboratory, she decided on a career in laboratory medicine. She has become actively involved in campus life, representing her class in student leadership and volunteer efforts.
Ahsan Choundary, representing the graduate school, graduated from Texas Lutheran University with a degree in molecular biology and psychology. After his acceptance to the translational science Ph.D. program, he began cultivating his interest in biotech and science leadership, communication and policy development.