What a crazy winter it has been in Abilene! It is snowing AGAIN, and McMurry’s classes will start at 11 this morning to give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to take their time and travel safely to campus. This make at least three “major” storms here this winter – enough snow and ice to delay or cancel classes. Right now we are at 4 inches of snow and growing. For a city where the average high temperature this time of year is in the 60s and low in the 40s, it has been a rude and rough winter.
Some people have all the luck. Dr. Larry Sharp, our human biology guru and the pre-health advisor, was invited to tour one of the Caribbean medical schools this week. So, while we are digging out and scraping ice, the only ice he’s worried about is for his tea as he watches tropical sunsets from his cabana. The only scraping he’ll do is to get the sand off his feet after a walk along the beach. Why didn’t we have trips like this when I was pre-med advisor?
One connection we hope Dr. Sharp will make this week is with one of our graduates. Dr. Cari Roark Sloma received her doctorate in medical immunology from the Mayo Clinic’s Graduate School. After completing a special year-long post-doctoral program for medical scientists working with physicians and working in industry a couple of years, she moved her family to the Caribbean to join the faculty at one of the medical schools in the region. Not bad for an El Paso girl who saw great success at McMurry in her academic and extracurricular activities – a very involved student who didn’t give up life to thrive in the sciences. But she also took advantage of some special opportunities beyond our campus. She was a participant in two NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer programs at TTU and Indiana after her sophomore and junior years. Result? A passion for biomedical research developed in Cari and led her to this time and place of her life.
Larry, give her a hug and tell her we’re proud of her! Then, bring some of that tropical weather back with you to Abilene. Please!