FEBRUARY 11, 2020 — If you summarize the past 10 years of Carol Chase’s life, it sounds something like this: Carol graduates from Brigham Young University—Hawaii, serves a church mission in Canada, works as a lab technician at Pioneer Flour Mills, earns her M.S. at UTSA, begins her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at UTSA, gives birth to a son and continues her doctoral work.
“My path to getting here was not very direct,” Chase laughed. “I was a gravy and flour tester. It was a good job and paid well and had good benefits, but I wanted to do something more and do more research.”
Chase discovered her passion for immunology while volunteering in an autoimmunity lab. Now a Ph.D. candidate, Chase is looking for blood biomarkers to monitor the progression of multiple sclerosis.
“Most people can spend the majority of their life in what you would call remission with little symptoms. They are always at risk of having a relapse,” Chase explained. “There are no medical tests for that and no way of monitoring that. I’m trying to find proteins in the blood that you can test in patients that will give you an idea if they are going to have a relapse and if their disease is progressing or getting worse.”
Chase hopes that her findings will help MS patients experience a better quality of life. “I always tell my mom, ‘This is important and someone has to do it,’” she said. “And I want to do it.”
Her son Teddy was born during Chases’s second year in the program. “I remember being up at 3 a.m. with a crying baby and then having to do a presentation that morning,” she said.
During the particularly difficult days, Chase considered leaving for a less demanding job. “I would look at the other people and think, I don’t fit in anymore,” she remembered. “But I worked through it. I love what I’m doing and I think it’s important. I just kept showing up and doing it.”
Chase said she’s grateful for the support of UTSA’s RISE community, a federally funded program that provides financial and professional development support for underrepresented students. “They gave me a community that I belong to,” she said. “When I didn’t necessarily feel like I fit in that well, I always fit in there.”
With the end of her doctoral journey in sight, Chase is looking forward to a future in immunology research. Her dream is to work at the National Institutes of Health.
“I want to become someone that my son would be proud of and look up to, which sometimes means making sacrifices and doing difficult things so he can see that education is important, serving other people is important, and it’s worth making those sacrifices,” she said.
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The best way to learn what UTSA has to offer is to experience it for yourself. Come to our Open House and see all that UTSA has to offer. The day features admissions and financial aid workshops and presentations, campus tours and much more.Various Locations, Main Campus
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health care, you won’t want to miss UTSA’s 14th annual Health Professions Day. Meet with representatives of health professions programs at schools such as Texas Tech University Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, University North Texas Health Science Center, University of the Incarnate Word, and many more. Free and open to UTSA students, local area college and high school students, and community members.Student Union, Retama Galleria (SU First Floor Corridor), Main Campus
An FBI subject matter expert will discuss the threat to U.S. technology and public sector from foreign adversaries, specific technologies sought and vectors used to illicitly obtain them, how to best safeguard intellectual property.Durango Building (DB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
Why just leap when you can dash? The Alumni Association’s 36th annual Diploma Dash 5K and City Championship is a great opportunity to run or walk for a great cause: scholarships for UTSA students.Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.H-E-B Student Union, Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA’s first Wellbeing Fair is a part of the President’s Initiative of Enriching Campus Wellbeing. UTSA is committed to the well-being of each member of the campus community and recognizes that numerous factors contribute to overall wellness: physical and mental health, diet and nutrition, physical activity, stress management and self-care, social behaviors and more. The fair will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in well-being activities, obtain well-being information and learn about available services. Participants will become more competent in making healthy decisions to take a more proactive approach in their own well-being.Paseo Principal, Student Union, 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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