By Lindsay Schaefer
According to Dr. Ruth Ann Murphy, professor and department chair of chem-istry, environmental sciences and geology, UMHB has an impressive success rate of students being accepted into medical school. One of the reasons is because it is part of the Joint Admission Medical Program, or JAMP.
This award grants financial and academic help to Texas students wanting to achieve their dreams of entering medical school. It is a partnership created to place students from 65 public and private institutions with one of the eight Texas medical schools.
“JAMP was somewhat designed to bring students to medical school who would have not gotten there otherwise,” Murphy said.
Sophomore mathematics and chemistry major, Ashli Lawson, was one of the students to receive the JAMP scholarship. Lawson was elated when she found out that her dream of becoming a doctor was now turning into a reality.
“I want to be a doctor because I think the biggest part of being a citizen of the world is contributing back to your community. I specifically want to be an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) because I love empowering women,” she said.
Through JAMP, Lawson will be able to achieve the goal she has worked toward.
Students may be eligible for the JAMP program if they are pre-med, a 2008 spring graduate of a Texas high school and have an ACT or SAT score equal to or higher than this year’s mean score in Texas.
Additional requirements include eligibility for a Pell Grant and 27 hours credit with a 3.25 GPA freshman year. Applications are due at the end of the sophomore year.
JAMP provides a way into medical school for several students, but there are also other means of getting in.
Craig Jenkins, a senior chemistry and cell biology major, has a story of his own. At 18 and not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, Jenkins enlisted in the Army for six and half years. He attributes his desire to become a family physician to his mentor, a doctor, whom he worked with in the States and in Iraq.
“He was kind of like a catalyst. He told me that I have what it takes, and nobody’s told me that prior to him, so at that point I got out of the Army and started going to school,” Jenkins said.
Through a program called HPSP, Health Profession Scholarship Program, the Air Force will pay for his medical school at A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Ariz., in return for his service in the forces.
Senior cell biology and psychology major, Zayde Radwan, is heading straight into medical school in the fall of 2009 after a hard journey of applications and tests.
“I was relieved to finally get in because I knew that once I got in, … I was going to be a doctor,” he said.
Radwan offers words of wisdom to students seeking medical school entry, whether it be through a scholarship program or on their own.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”