CHS Celebrates First Cohort of Outstanding Seniors
On Wednesday, May 15th, the College of Health Sciences celebrated its inaugural cohort of CHS Outstanding Seniors at a recognition ceremony held in the Health Sciences and Nursing Building's Curlin Plaza. The event, which will become an annual occurrence, is designed to celebrate both academic and service accomplishments of graduating seniors who are nominated by faculty within their home departments.
Following a welcome at this year’s event given by Dean Shafik Dharamsi, Ms. Joy Olimpo, director of the Student Success Center and the event MC, shared personal stories about each of the awardees. Three of the students received additional honors and were nominated for roles in the University Commencement Ceremony as designated in the listing below.
Sabrina Arias – Kinesiology: Through her participation in Golden Key National Honor Society, Sabrina found many opportunities to grow and find her voice. She eventually rose to her current position as president of the society. In this role, Sabrina has helped to create more volunteer opportunities for members. After graduation, Sabrina plans to apply to the UTEP Physical Therapy Program. She also plans to remain in touch with Golden Key to share her experiences with future students and help them prepare for post-graduation life.
Brenda Baca – Clinical Laboratory Sciences: Brenda’s most memorable experience at UTEP was her participation in the MHIRT (Minority Health International Training) Program, where she spent eight weeks in Panama conducting research. After graduation, Brenda plans to work in a clinical laboratory and also begin her application to medical school. In the future, she hopes to complete a residency in hematology/oncology and return to UTEP to teach for the Clinical Laboratory Science program.
Kayzang Chimmi – Health Promotion: As an international student from Bhutan, Kayzang was an active member of UTEP’s Bhutanese Student Association. After graduation, she plans to return to Bhutan to work in the health industry and volunteer for nonprofit groups. In the future, she hopes to return to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in public health. As an alumna, she also plans to help promote UTEP in her home country, sharing information with future generations of Miners regarding the many opportunities available to them.
Miraal Dharamsi – Kinesiology; University Banner Bearer: Through the gravity of his experience as a volunteer dissecting cadavers in the medicine and gross anatomy labs of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Miraal confirmed his passion to study medicine and also realized his responsibility to protect the dignity of individuals, regardless of the presence of a heartbeat. Miraal has been accepted to the Foster School of Medicine and hopes to serve the El Paso community as both a doctor and future mentor for medical school students.
Andres Fernandez – Kinesiology: As an officer of the new Pre-Physical Therapy Association (PPTA), Andres had the opportunity to develop leadership skills, become involved in his community and acquire a better understanding of what it takes to be a physical therapist. After graduation, he plans to apply to physical therapy programs and hopes to be accepted into one in Texas. In the future, he also plans to serve future PPTA students as a mentor, helping to answer questions and share what he learned.
Sebastian Garcia – Kinesiology: As the Student Success Center’s peer mentor, Sebastian was able to build relationships with fellow CHS students and serve as a resource to those who were struggling academically. After graduation, he plans to apply to various physical therapy (PT) programs and hopes to practice professionally in El Paso. Once he is accepted into a PT program, he plans to serve as a mentor to aspiring students, sharing tips for a successful application as well as the challenges and rewards of studying Physical Therapy.
Sofia Macias – Social Work: As an intern in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of El Paso, Sofia gained a greater understanding of macro and micro social work practices, as well as how to present herself professionally to her peers and clients. Her short-term plan is to attend Arizona State University to attain her master’s degree in social work. In the long-term, she hopes to gain field experience working with intimate partner violence survivors and individuals with mental illness, and hopes to eventually earn her Ph.D. in social work and return to UTEP as a professor.
Kirsten Moravec – Kinesiology: Shortly after graduating from high school, Kirsten lost her ROTC scholarship due to budget cuts, and decided to postpone college and enlist in the Army. After five years of service, she earned her GI bill and returned to UTEP to complete her degree. After graduation, Kirsten plans to work in cardiac rehabilitation, helping improve the lives of her patients through diet and exercise. She is scheduled to take the ACSM Exercise Physiology exam and is considering graduate school in the future.
Juliana Ramirez – Rehabilitation Sciences; Undergraduate Student Marshal of Students for the College of Health Sciences: As part of UTEP’s first graduating cohort from the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences Program, Juliana took part in many firsts, including the creation of the Student Association of Rehabilitation Sciences (STARS). After graduation, Juliana plans to apply to the UTEP Master of Occupational Therapy program. She hopes to find a position within a hospital setting and, eventually, plans to have her own practice in an outpatient clinic.
Lorena Romero Alberto – Clinical Laboratory Sciences; Undergraduate College Banner Bearer for the College of Health Sciences: Lorena served as the Blood Bank Teaching Assistant for the UTEP CLS Program, preparing student samples for testing and assisting other CLS students during their Blood Bank labs. Her short-term plans are to stay in El Paso and work in a hospital laboratory while also serving the CLS Program as a clinical preceptor. In the long term, she plans to apply to medical school and become a pathologist.