May 5, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 18




Of Note


Ambassador Scholars chosen to represent 5 schools

The 12th Annual Ambassador Scholarship presentation was a first in several ways this year—there were more honorees than in years past and all of the scholarship recipients were women.

"For the first time ever, through completely independent actions, the schools have all selected women as their ambassadors," said Dr. John P. Howe, III, president, during the presentation ceremony. "Gentlemen be aware, this is a banner year for the women."

From left: Health Science Center students Vicky Dittmar, graduate nursing program; Stephanie Salazar, School of Allied Health Sciences; Mirellas Gonzales, School of Nursing; Nicole Hanley, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Veronica Contreras, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Ana Trevino, Medical School; Regina Zapata, Dental School; Sara Bender, Dental School; and Samantha Carp, Medical School, are this year's Ambassador Scholar honorees.

In previous years, the Health Science Center honored five outstanding students—one from each of the institution's schools. Through additional funding support this year, nine ambassadors were honored at the May 2 event.

The Ambassador Scholarship recipients are: Regina Zapata, a third-year dental student; Sara Bender, a third-year dental student; Samantha Emily Carp, a first-year medical student; Ana Trevino, a second-year medical student; Stephanie Salazar, an allied health student; Veronica Contreras, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Nicole Hanley, a student in the graduate school; Vicky Dittmar, a graduate student in the School of Nursing; and Mirellas Gonzales, a nursing student.

Zapata, a student interviewer for the Dental School Admissions Committee, earned a bachelor's degree in biology at U. T. San Antonio before entering the Health Science Center Dental School. She has been named to the Dean's List and is a member of the American Student Dental Association, the Hispanic Dental Association and the Texas Association of Women Dentists, among others.

Bender's three years as a dental student have been characterized by academic excellence and extracurricular leadership. The native of Dallas has received a number of academic honors, including the Kramer Award from the National Dental Honor Society and the honor society's Sophomore Award of Excellence.

A graduate of U. T. Austin, Carp serves as treasurer for her Medical School class. She was on the College of Natural Sciences Honor Roll and has maintained a 3.66 grade point average (GPA). Carp also volunteers her time to the Travis County Humane Society and serves as a camp counselor.

Trevino, a native of Zapata, obtained a score of 30 on her Medical College Admissions Test and has continued to show academic excellence during her two years at the Medical School. A love of medicine runs in the family. Trevino's mother recently graduated from the U. T. Medical Branch in Galveston.

Pursuing a career in clinical laboratory sciences, Salazar is a former Health Careers High School graduate. She studied pre-medicine at Trinity University before joining the Health Science Center's School of Allied Health Science's CLS degree program.

Contreras has been a doctoral student in biochemistry since 1997 and has maintained a GPA of 3.46. An outstanding communicator, Contreras teaches in the dental biochemistry course and plays a role in departmental seminars. She also serves on the Admissions Committee of the Department of Biochemistry.

Hanley was selected by the Department of Pharmacology to host visiting seminar speakers and to organize the Graduate Research Forum, a major annual symposium in the Graduate School. She participates in the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and hosts the yearly "Brain Bowl," a College Bowl-type event.

An honors graduate from U. T. at Arlington, Dittmar is a graduate student in the acute nursing care program. She assists in recruitment efforts for both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs and is a member of the Graduate Nursing Student Association. Dittmar also participates on the Educational Systems Task Force and the American Nurses Association, among other activities.

Gonzales is an undergraduate student in the School of Nursing. She is a member of the Student Nurses Association and the Christian Medical and Dental Society, and she acts as a mentor to students from a local high school.

"These students possess the qualities, dedication and spirit necessary to successfully represent the Health Science Center," said Dr. Howe.

Ambassador Scholars each receive scholarship funds and will represent the Health Science Center at a number of functions throughout the year.

The Ambassador Scholarship Fund is supported by the Health Science Center's President's Council and the Fiesta de Tejas Committee.