Monday, November 30, 2015


Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA's Ashley Dickens accepted to Harvard Medical School

Ashley Dickens

Ashley Dickens

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(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 and your submission will be considered for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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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.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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