Graduation 2021: Ceremony Unites All Five Schools
UT Health San Antonio held its first ever in-person commencement ceremony for graduates across the five schools. The ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 22nd at the Alamodome.
More than 1,000 students — 827 in May and 211 this summer — applied to graduate from the university. The graduates come from the university’s five schools – the School of Nursing, School of Dentistry, School of Health Professions, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.
Within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, there were 141 (including expected June conferrals) 2020-2021 graduates from our various programs (1 DMP, 59 M.S., 38 Pharm.D. and 43 Ph.D.).
“These students have been challenged by interruptions, by inconveniences, by new methodologies in teaching and they have been limited in their social interactions,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio. “They have had a ringside seat in observing the devastation the pandemic has caused to patients struggling to live and families fighting to survive. And, despite the disruptive consequences of the pandemic, these students, led by their talented and creative faculties, have set new standards of excellence and service at UT Health.”
He added that “these graduates bring and have brought great credit and honor to their professions, and they are just getting started. They will continue their life-affirming vocations in many new settings around the world. It is a point of lasting pride that they first learned their life-saving skills here at UT Health, and those of us on the faculty and staff of UT Health San Antonio count ourselves lucky we have had the opportunity to be a part of their lives.”
ABC News journalist John Quinones, a San Antonio native, was the keynote speaker for the in-person commencement. A graduate of San Antonio’s Brackenridge High School and St. Mary’s University, Quinones rose from a disadvantaged upbringing to log more than 30 years with ABC so far, including anchoring 20/20 and Primetime.
A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime. Along the way, he broke through barriers, won the highest accolades, and became a role model for many.
Hooding Ceremony and Graduation Photos
See all photos here: www.utbiomed.com/gradphotos21
Graduation Spotlight Video
Holly Parenica, Ph.D., reflects on her university experience as a 2021 graduate in the Ph.D. Radiological Science Program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio.
Pipette Gazette Spotlights
Our graduates share some tips for current students and reflect upon their time at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in UT Health San Antonio.
Angela Dorigatti, IBMS, Biology of Aging
Angela will be working as a Support Scientist for 10x Genomics in the Bay Area!
“Learn as many techniques as you can (this will directly affect your future employment) and always push yourself to go just beyond your comfort zone.” —Angela Dorigatti
Ryan Reyes, MSTP, Molecular Immunology & Microbiology
Ryan will be completing his final two years of medical school, and then will pursue a research-intensive residency/fellowship in adult oncology.
“I would encourage fellow students to be present and enjoy their time in graduate school rather than look longingly toward its end. For me, enjoying graduate school coincided with maturation of the idea that I don’t have to let my successes and (many) failures in the lab define me. I am now grateful for the struggles I experienced in graduate school that helped me ground myself in a larger identity of who I am as a Christian, husband, and father. Graduate school and science were inevitably easier when it became what I do and not who I am.”—Ryan Reyes
Camila Pacheco-Pareira, Dental Science, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Camila will be returning to Canada to resume her position at the University of Alberta-Edmonton.
“Yes, teamwork and hard work are the key not only to success but also to professional development! There is always time to have fun, travel and enjoy the beautiful San Antonio! Carpe Diem!:—Camila Pacheco-Pareira
Hamad Alanazi, IBMS, Molecular Immunology & Microbiology
Hamad will return to Saudi Arabia and work in academia.
“Passion, Persistence and long-term goals. You should have these three to enjoy graduate school.”—Hamad Alanazi
Killian Fischer, Doctorate of Medical Physics Student, Radiation Therapy Track
Killian will be the medical physicist at Mercy Health Lorain Cancer Center in Elyria, Ohio.
“These programs are what you make of them, so never stop —never stopping.”—Killian Fischer
Mayank Pahadia, Dental Science, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Mayank will be joining University of Florida College of Dentistry as a full time clinical assistant professor.
“Hang in there, sometimes it can get hard but just concentrate on putting your 100%, the results will come!”—Mayank Pahadia
Jasmine will continue to practice, teach, and do research.
“My advice is to continue to push forward. Yes, sometimes you will feel like it is too much or like you want to give up, but trust me when I say to move forward because it is worth it.”—Jasmine Graw
Sonam Khurana, Dental Science, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Sonam will be joining a Ph.D. program in Radiation Physics.
‘“There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.” Hard work is the key to achieve your goals. Stay persistent and passionate.’—Sonam Khurana
Allison Crawford, Nursing Science
Allison will be starting a full-time two-year postdoctorate T32 fellowship position at The University of Texas at Austin.
“Take one day at a time. I was told early on to devote at least 30 minutes or aim to write 300 words a day. It is a process and not a race. It is rewarding to see your research and level of understanding grow. Always seek opportunity to learn from others and to collaborate. Your advocacy and involvement in the community is essential so regardless of the type of research you do, try to connect with the nonprofit sector or your local or state representative.”—Allison Crawford
Jessye Castro, Personalized Molecular Medicine
Jessye plans to work or teach for a year and then apply for a Ph.D. program before looking into some kind of liaison work with genetic screening. She may look into some translational science opportunities as well.
“Work smart not hard. If something isn’t working, tell someone. Ask for help (even if you feel like you are being annoying). Lastly, get used to being uncomfortable.”—Jessye Castro
Manpreet Semwal, IBMS, Molecular Immunology & Microbiology
Manpreet will be joining Dr. Nicolas Musi’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow where she will be studying the biology of adipose tissue related to aging and metabolic disease.
“Read, read and read as many papers as you can!! Few hours of reading can save you weeks of lab work. Also, do not hesitate to ask for help from your fellows or faculties. And please hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”—Manpreet Semwal
Abdulhafiz Imam Aliagan, IBMS, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Medicine
Abdulhafiz Imam Aliagan will be joining Pfizer as a Senior Scientist in the Biomedicine Design team in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to explore scientifically. Always think of the question “Why and How?” Also make extensive research before embarking on a research idea or procedure,” —Abdulhafiz Imam Aliagan