A passion for the laboratory and leadership
By Kate Hunger
Nemo Muñoz loves the opportunity microbiology provides to step into the role of detective.
“To me, it’s like solving a mystery: You start with a plate reading, and from there you can go as far as figuring out the species and genus of what the bug is,” Muñoz said.
A second-year student in the Medical Laboratory Sciences bachelor’s degree program, Muñoz was selected as the 2021 Presidential Ambassador Scholar for the School of Health Professions. The five Presidential Ambassador Scholars—one for each school at UT Health San Antonio—received their awards in May. The honor comes with a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to represent the student body and university at various events throughout the year.
“I was super honored to even be considered,” Muñoz said.
Muñoz serves in numerous leadership roles, including president of the Medical Laboratory Sciences class of 2022, chair of the School of Health Professions Student Presidents Council and vice president of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Student Association. Muñoz’s professors praised his selection as an ambassador.
“Nemo has faced adversity and persevered through many challenges to become the admirable, dedicated leader that he is today,” said Assistant Professor Terri Murphy-Sanchez, MLS, CSMLS, ASCP, interim program director in the Division of Medical Laboratory Sciences.
Muñoz sees leadership as an opportunity to raise the profile of the profession and noted that although the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the role of medical laboratory sciences, there is still work to be done to promote the profession’s variety and depth.
“I think it’s a little misunderstood, still,” he said. “We have to know so much. It’s chemistry, microbiology; it’s blood bank. We are the ones who vet the organ transplants.”