What does it take to succeed in the challenging fields of medicine and biosciences? More than 130 high school, community college and undergraduate students found out recently at the Second Annual Healing the Community Symposium hosted by the University of California, San Diego.
The all-day event sponsored by UCSD’s Student Educational Advancement, and the UCSD School of Medicine saw noted community experts representing the fields of bioengineering, medicine, biosciences, medical research and health sciences come together to give underrepresented students and their parents practical advice on preparing for college admission and career success in these fields. Attendees, including high school science teachers, also got the chance to interact with UCSD medical school faculty, medical students and undergraduates in the sciences.
“We are deeply appreciative of the essential role that community partners such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) San Diego Chapter, La Prensa San Diego newspaper, and Albert McClain, M.D. (Southeast San Diego physician) play in helping us reach out to low-income and ethnic minority students through the Healing the Community program,” says Loren Thompson, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor, UCSD Student Educational Advancement.
Roman Diaz, who recently completed his term as president of SHPE’s San Diego Chapter, served on the symposium’s 13-member Steering/Planning Committee along with La Prensa editor Daniel Munoz, Jr., and Dr. McLain, an ear, nose and throat medicine specialist from Paradise Valley Hospital. They assisted UCSD representatives in planning the symposium and recruiting local medical, bioengineering and health care professional as speakers and panel discussion members.
These symposium participants included SHPE members Ruben Flores, Ph.D., clinical scientist at Biosite, Inc.; Amara Siva, Ph.D., staff scientist at Alexion Antibody Technologies; Elva Arrendondo, Ph.D., research scientist at San Diego State University, and SHPE-UCSD Chapter members Fabiola Camacho, Manuel Ruidiaz and Carmen Rivero. Also contributing to the symposium’s success were speakers such as Charles Flowers, Jr., M.D., medical director of Flowers & Suder Vision Institute, Jane Campbell, nutritionist and manager of the Center for Health Promotion at Paradise Valley Hospital, and Edward Martinez, chief executive offer, San Ysidro Health Center.
While UCSD’s Healing the Community program focuses on preparing low-income/ethnic minority students for medicine, bioengineering, medical research, biological sciences, and other health-related sciences, its companion program known as Building the Community centers on introducing students to the vast and ever-changing field of engineering through “hands-on” problem-solving experiences with minority community engineers.
“Just as SHPE and other community partners did last year, we look forward to working closely with UCSD this year on its annual Building the Community Symposium in a continuing community effort to help prepare and motivate underrepresented students for the challenging, high-tech engineering fields of tomorrow,” says Jesse Sandoval, the chapter’s newly-installed president.