(May 29, 2013) -- Meet Ashley Dickens, who has the distinction of being one of the first UTSA Roadrunners accepted to attend the prestigious Harvard Medical School in the fall.
Dickens' journey began in 2006 when she enrolled at UTSA after graduating from Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio. An Honors College student, Dickens graduated with tier-one honors after completing her biology degree.
"I was required to take honors seminars, so I took special courses on the holocaust, science and psychology," said Dickens. "These were some of my favorite courses because they taught me about the humanities and societal issues that really got me interested in working with people."
Throughout college, Dickens worked at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. After graduating from UTSA, she helped her family take care of her grandmother, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
"I really got to see her interactions with her doctors and our family physician and observed the trust that was necessary," said Dickens. "She would listen to our family physician and trust his recommendations. He was there to comfort her when she brought forth concerns about meeting strange doctors. I really admired that relationship."
Dickens relocated to a Dallas hospital and then moved on to work in research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. While in Dallas, she decided to do volunteer work as a patient sitter at Children's Medical Center.
"I met some of the most wonderful children there that, by their attitude, you would never have guessed they were sick," Dickens said. "It was incredibly inspirational to me, and that's when I knew I that as a doctor I wanted to be able to work among these kinds of patients and their families to help them feel better."
Dickens contacted the UTSA Health Professions Office, and they assisted her to complete the application process and gather letters of recommendation. A stellar student, her choices came down to Harvard Medical School and seven other universities. Dickens chose Harvard because of its status in the medical community and the opportunities it could provide in the future.
"Whether it be medicine, law or public policy, by becoming a Harvard student, not only are there medical opportunities, but in any interest or facet that I may discover five to 10 years from now, doors would also be open to me," she said.
Since it was established in 2006, the UTSA Health Professions Office has assisted many students to get accepted into strong Texas medical schools. However, Dickens is the first they have been able to assist to get into Harvard Medical School, recognized as the nation's leader in training physicians.
Do you know a UTSA student with a great story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your submission will be considered for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
The UTSA community is invited to the Community Networking events hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion during Roadrunner Days. Various opportunities will be available that will focus on our diverse population.
H-E-B University Center Ballrooms (HUC 1.104 and HUC 1.106), Main Campus
Start in the Paseo then branch out around campus so you know where to go on the first day of classes.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
This event offers a preview of the UC’s programs and services that students can enjoy throughout the year. There will be food and giveaways too.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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