2024 Presidential Ambassador Scholars recognized

The 2024 Presidential Ambassador Scholars received their scholarships, medals and certificates on April 23. (Left to right): Acting President Robert Hromas, MD, FACP; Shalad Abdulsahib, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Stephen Maldonado, Long School of Medicine; Sean Jones, School of Nursing; Anna Ye, School of Dentistry; Grace McGuire, School of Health Professions

UT Health San Antonio’s 2024 Presidential Ambassador Scholars were officially recognized by Acting President Robert Hromas, MD, FACP, on April 23.

Hromas, with assistance from the deans and associate deans from the schools, presented each student with their medals and recognized their achievements at the Academic and Administration Building, Room 302, with each ambassador awarded a $5,000 scholarship. The ambassadors represent the student body and the university at numerous events throughout the year.

The five scholars, one from each school in the university, are: Shalad Abdulsahib, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Sean Jones, School of Nursing; Stephen Maldonado, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine; Grace McGuire, School of Health Professions; and Anna Ye, School of Dentistry.

Shahad Abdulsahib is a third-year Ph.D. student in the field of Cell Biology at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her journey from escaping the ravages of war is a testament to her resilience and determination. Arriving in the U.S. in 2010, she faced the challenge of acclimating to a new culture while leaving her family behind. Originally inspired by a family history of cancer to become a medical doctor, Shahad’s trajectory shifted towards research as she majored in biochemistry. As a Muslim female in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Shahad is not only dedicated to her academic pursuits, but also actively seeks opportunities for personal development. Throughout her academic journey, Shahad has demonstrated a commitment to community and academic service. She exemplifies a dedication to service by engaging in community outreach events and actively contributes to building a professional network. Her passion lies in advancing scientific knowledge in pediatric cancer research, supported by the Greehey Family Foundation.

Sean Jones, a first-semester junior in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in the School of Nursing, is driven by a calling to serve in the nursing profession. His ambition lies in critical care, particularly in renal care and dialysis, yet his heart remains open to the diverse avenues nursing presents. Coming from a lineage of nurses within a military family, his upbringing was steeped in the ethos of patient care. Witnessing the unwavering dedication of his parents — both critical care nurses — ignited a fire within him to emulate their compassion and commitment. Beyond his academic pursuits, he has exhibited leadership in various spheres, from guiding peers as a section leader in an orchestra to advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights and community outreach initiatives.

Stephen Maldonado, a first-year-medical student in the Long School of Medicine, and his sister, were raised with education as a main priority. A family friend’s illness set Maldonado on the path to medicine. As he witnessed his friend’s decline, his interest in the importance of the nervous system was piqued. At New Mexico State University, he majored in biology and gained a love for teaching as a supplemental instruction facilitatory. He participated in research, helping to conduct gene knockdown in mosquitoes using CRISPR-Cas13 gene editing. Following his undergraduate career, he worked as a medical assistant. Now as a medical student, he participates in several intramural sports and has several leadership positions, including co-president of the Latino Medical Student Association and the social chair of the Student National Medical Association.

Margaret Grace McGuire is a first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student in the School of Health Professions. Originally from Spring, Texas, she is a Texas A&M graduate with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. She fell in love with occupational therapy (OT) after watching its profound impact in pediatric and geriatric populations. McGuire was drawn to the university’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program for its sense of community and emphasis on service. Involved within her cohort as the class president, the School of Health Professions’ Student President’s Council, Student Occupational Therapy Association, intramurals and interprofessional events, she has also been involved in service events with organizations like Kinetic Kids and the local Center for Refugee Services.

Anna Ye is a third-year student at the School of Dentistry. She attended Baylor University, where she was an Honors College student majoring in University Scholars with concentrations in biology and Chinese. Ye brings her passion for teaching into the clinic and loves to educate and empower her patients to take charge of their oral health. She currently also serves as the course liaison for the Advanced Studies of Human Disease Procedures and Oral Medicine courses and is the public information officer for the Academy of General Dentistry student organization. Outside of the classroom and clinic, she spends her free time experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen, exploring parks, and working with children in her church’s kid ministry. After graduation, Anna plans to work as a general dentist who prioritizes providing personalized care and oral health education for a diverse population of patients.




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