Commencement Close-Up: Jocelyn Campos
By Cindy Brockwell
Special Projects Writer
(Dec. 17, 2008)--UTSA's Jocelyn Campos is graduating summa cum laude with bachelor's degrees in both biology and French. So much for being either left- or right-brained.
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Born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Campos moved to San Antonio with her parents and two sisters in 2001 when she was 13 years old. Her English was limited, so she studied English... and French... and threw in a year of Latin for her future career in medicine.
She graduated fourth in her class at Marshall High. She was accepted for admission to Stanford, Rice, Baylor and UT Austin. But, she chose UTSA.
"I didn't care so much about the big-name schools. I cared more about an environment where I would feel comfortable and where I knew I could reach my goals," Campos explained.
Her older sister graduated from UTSA, and Campos attended Pre-Med Society meetings with her while Campos was still in high school. That's when she fell in love with the university.
Science has always interested her. During a summer research program for high school students, Campos was introduced to the UTSA microbiology lab. She studied under UTSA's Judy Teale, professor of immunology. As a UTSA student, she again studied under Teale -- this time conducting research on tularemia for her honor's thesis.
Her course work for the biology degree will be complete this month. She needs another semester to complete her degree in French.
So, in January, Campos is off to study abroad for a semester in Paris where she will study French at La Sorbonne. She hopes to live with a host family where she will be immersed in the French language and culture. She previously traveled to Italy with a UTSA Honors College summer program. And, with a high school program, she traveled to England, France and Spain.
Travel also is in her long-term plans. One of her goals is to someday participate in Doctors Without Borders. "Languages will be an asset. That's why I'm also taking Italian this semester," she noted.
Through the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, Campos has volunteered as an interpreter during six trips to the Mexican border with the Christian Medical and Dental Association.
"I wanted to be certain that I wanted to practice medicine. The border trips confirmed my decision," she said. "I saw the doctors' compassion and concern as I interpreted their questions to patients."
She's close to completing 100 hours of volunteer service at University Hospital. Campos was an officer in UTSA's Pre-Med Honor Society last year.
With plans to specialize in internal medicine or family practice, Campos is enrolled in the Joint Admissions Medical Program (JAMP), a program created by the Texas Legislature to provide services to support and encourage highly qualified, economically disadvantaged students pursuing medical education. JAMP awards undergraduate and medical school scholarships and provides admission for students who satisfy academic and non-academic requirements for at least one participating medical school.
Regardless of which specialty area Campos chooses, she knows she will work with medical missionary trips abroad.
In addition to a 20-hour course load this semester, she has made the time to work for a better world. She is president of A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, the UTSA student organization to raise awareness and advocate an end to genocide in Darfur, Congo and other countries.
"Our organization does not have a lot of money, but we are assisting a Darfur family that has moved to San Antonio," she said, noting that she had visited the family the previous night.
With a soft-spoken manner, her face lights up as she talks about what she likes best about UTSA. "The professors are wonderful, and the labs are first-rate," she said. "I've made many wonderful friends here in this great environment."
Campos is a humble person from humble beginnings, dedicated to making the world more humane. Judging from her success thus far, she will go very far indeed.
Fun Facts: Jocelyn Campos' favorites
- On-campus hang-out: University Center
- Music: Christian
- Online posting: Facebook
- Movie: "Just Like Heaven" starring Reece Witherspoon
- Pastimes: movies with her sisters, studying with friends