(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 email@example.com and your submission will be considered for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The UTSA community is encouraged to donate blood and save a life. Donors will also receive a free t-shirt.
H-E-B University Center parking lot, Main Campus
Dr. Stephanie Westney (violin) presents a concert of Mozart compositions as performed by herself and other talented musicians from the university and surrounding area. This concert is free and open to the public.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion annually hosts a Volunteer Opportunities Fair to allow students, faculty and staff to learn about volunteer and service-learning opportunities in the San Antonio area.
University Center, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio, the San Antonio Express-News and KLRN-9 will host a town hall meeting to explore policy related to sanctuary cities. The event, Sanctuary Cities: State rules versus Local Control, is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
Join the conversation about the experiences of military-connected families in transition. Free parking in the Cattleman Square (along Buena Vista Street). The event is free and open to the public.
Frio Street Building, Riklin Auditorium (FS 1.406), Downtown Campus
School district superintendents and other district leaders responsible for bilingual and ESL programs' administration and accountability learn about cultural literacy, language, and diversity in the community.
Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Dress professional and bring plenty of resumes.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Recruiters from across all fields looking to hire students with all different majors will be present at this event looking to hire for their full-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The Civic Engagement Summit is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase UTSA's commitment to civic engagement through a myriad of efforts by students, faculty and staff, highlighting the significant ways the university impacts the local community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The Department of Demography presents Dr. Rodolfo Cruz Peñeiro of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. His presentation is titled "Changes in the Migratory Dynamics of the Northern Mexican Border." This event is free and open to the public.
Monterrey Building, (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
Grab your friends, family, kids and dog for this annual fun run on the UTSA Main Campus benefititng the UTSA Alumni Association.
Convocation Center, 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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.