Our program thrives on feedback from graduates, unsolicited comments that help us shape and improve our program. It is one of two things we ask of every BIMS graduate: stay in touch and let us know what we are doing well and where we need change. The other thing we ask is for them to be successful and change the world.
So it is not a surprise that we have heard back from a student who is in his first year of medical school. He provided his topic list for the first week or so of medical school, with a comment that a week of medical school includes a semester of biochemistry. That, and the emphasis on metabolism and physiology, are signals to us to be sure our pre-med students are advised into particular courses and that our required courses emphasize important topics. We want our students to be successful and prepared. So every comment from alums is considered valuable to that end.
Next week, I will be giving the welcome for the faculty to the students of McMurry at our Fall Convocation. The key point I will make is that faculty are not the enemy – we are the allies who work with students to achieve success. The enemies are laziness, distraction, and lack of discipline that cause students to lose their focus on what is important to their future. They need to devote everything within them to growth of body, mind, and spirit during their four years of college. We, the faculty, are devoting our efforts to help this happen; they need to do their part as well.
Faculty are in an unusual position of giving away to students everything they have learned in order to allow their students to achieve greater things than they thought possible. It is an unselfish and totally satisfying career. But I digress… :) Suffice it to say that this week’s feedback from our med student alum is rewarding – a student says “thanks” and moves forward to achieve his dream. Our program learns valuable information that can be applied to give others that same advantage in professional school. And the sweet rewards of being a college faculty member are realized.
Although the BIMS program is too new to have any graduates, there are MANY McMurry Biology graduates who have gone to graduate and professional programs aligned with biomedical science. Each summer, I send out an update on what’s happening at McMurry to my former students. I always ask them to “check in” and let me know what they are doing. Here’s some of the responses I got this summer.
- Dr. Andrew Hockert completed his doctorate in Cell Biology & Biochemistry at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (TTUHSC-GSBS) and now is teaching molecular biology and biochemistry at Cumberland University.
- Dr. Abby Crume received her D.O. from UNT-TCOM and is in a surgical residency in Maine.
- Dr. Gena Jester Nichols completed her doctorate in Immunology from Wake Forest and is in a post-doctoral position at Tulane.
- Kira Chumbley completed her masters in Medical Microbiology from TTUHSC-GSBS and works as a Senior Research Technician the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and teaches microbiology at a community college for fun.
- Dr. Yancey Natividad completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at UNM.
- Sheena Banks continues in the PhD program in Immunology at UTMB, where operations were severely interrupted by Hurricane Ike last fall.
- Jessica Crawford is a third year medical student at UTMB.
- Dr. Cari Roark Sloma, who completed her degree in Medical Immunology from Mayo Graduate School of Biomedical Science is now on the faculty at Ross University School of Medicine on the island of Dominica.
- Stephanie Coffey is in her fourth year at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M.
- Dr. Asha Kurian is an internal medicine resident/endocrinology resident in Arizona.
- Dr. Clipper Strickland has returned to Abilene to establish is practice after graduating from UH-College of Optometry.
- Dr. Kendra DeBerry has graduated from UPenn School of Optometry and is practicing in Ft. Worth.
- Drew Hillhouse should be nearing completion of his PhD in Medical Microbiology from UMizzou-Columbia.
- Dr. Stacy Beaty completed his MD at UT-Houston School of Medicine and has joined the Shannon Clinic in San Angelo.
- Dr. Sam Nixon completed his DPT degree from Hardin-Simmons and is in private practice.
These are just a sampling of the reports we get from our students. Each is a success story. Each is a student who came to McMurry with dreams and worked hard to make those dreams come true. I hope the incoming freshmen this fall will be featured in a report like this 5, 6, or 7 years from now.