What a year it has been for this year’s candidates. Much of in-person learning has shifted into a virtual format and many events have been cancelled. With minor modifications, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences hosted an in-person convocation and candidacy ceremony. The ceremony was trimmed for length and only two guests with UT Health San Antonio badges were allowed to accompany this year’s candidates.
“We had planned to have this event in person but this year, we had to pivot once again because of delta. This pandemic has taught us a great deal and it has taught us how resilient our GSBS community has been,” said Dr. David Weiss, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio.
Dr. Weiss urged students to take ownership of their own education. This message was echoed by keynote speaker, Dr Earlanda Williams, who also spoke about how time flies when you love what you do.
Dr. Williams is an alumna of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and graduated with a Ph.D. in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at UT Health San Antonio in 2009. She is currently an associate professor of anatomy and director of anatomical sciences & chair of the Department of Clinical and Applied Science Education at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine.
“This is simply a journey to prepare you for a very bright bright future. Remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m here to tell you that no matter how long and hard the road will be, you can still find joy in it. It is an opportunity that not everyone has and an opportunity that not everyone can accomplish the goals for,” Dr. Williams said.
Kathrin Bailey, a 3rd year student in Dr. Tim Anderson’s lab said that she enjoyed the event and was happy that she was able to attend in person.
“As a Ph.D. student, I’m very familiar with imposter syndrome,” she said. “The ceremony was a good reminder that what I’m doing is not a walk in the park, and that I’m allowed to be proud of myself. ”
Leila Takahashi-Ruiz, a 3rd year student in Dr. April Risinger’s lab mentioned that the event was refreshing.
“It has been a while since I have been at an event with multiple other people to celebrate something in-person,” she said. “It was great to see others in my cohort who have also advanced to candidacy, although the pandemic has affected all of us.”
Jeffrey Katz, a 3rd year student in Dr. Patrick Sung’s lab said that he enjoyed the event and liked seeing faculty and his classmates.
“It commemorates a milestone in one’s graduate education, and causes one to reflect on where one has been and where one needs to go,” he said.
Armand Guarino Award for Academic Excellence in Doctoral Studies
Florence Chiang, M.D., Ph.D.
Resident, Department of Radiology, UT Health San Antonio
The Armand J. Guarino Award for Academic Excellence gives special recognition to students who have been recognized by the faculty for outstanding scholarship, teaching and community service. This award is named after Armand J. Guarino, founding Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Joe and Patty Robles Leadership Award
Nursing Science PhD
Mentor: Dr. Carrie Braden
The Robles Leadership Award is presented in honor of General Joe Robles (USAF ret), and his wife Patty. As such, this award will recognize a graduate student (MS or PhD) in good academic standing who demonstrates excellence in leadership and service within the local and/or at UT Health community.
GSBS Senior Graduate Student of the Year Award
Integrated Biomedical Sciences PhD, Neuroscience Discipline
Mentor: Dr. Gregory Collins
The GSBS Senior Student of the Year award recognizes a graduate student who demonstrates the best potential for research success and demonstrates sustained excellence in academics.
Heather Menzie Junior Graduate Student of the Year Award
Translational Science PhD
Mentor: Dr. Carole White
The Heather Menzie Junior Student of the Year is presented in honor of Ms. Heather Menzie, a graduate student who was unexpectantly taken from us on May 13, 2015. This award will recognize a highly motivated, academically successful, graduate student in the first 3 years of their graduate work.
Debbie Canales Yrle Award
Angie Watts, M.S.
Assistant Director, Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) Program
UT Health San Antonio
The Debbie Canales Yrle Distinguished Service Award was established by Dr. Bettie Sue Masters in memory of Debbie Yrle, to recognize individuals who provide outstanding support to the education and research mission of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.