From the Desk of The President

New Beginnings – Tonight we’ll celebrate the accomplishments of our 73 Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) students at convocation and commencement ceremonies. We’ll confer the title of M.D. upon each of the students, and I’ll wish them well as they embark on their residency training in their respective areas.  Andrew Billnitzer, Timothy Bullock, Zinmar Ma, Rica Mauricio, Jeffrey Mohlman, Chetna Pande and Maria Sheikh were also awarded Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) degrees earlier this week. I’m proud of our students and all they’ve achieved over the past four years. Earlier today, Associate Dean for Admissions and retired Colonel Manuel Schydlower, M.D., conducted the PLFSOM Class of 2015 Military Commissioning and Promotion Ceremony for PLFSOM students/lieutenants promoted to captains. They were Joshua Paul, U.S. Army; Barret Halgas, U.S. Army; and Patrick Berg, U.S. Air Force. My father and grandfather served in our armed forces. I have a special respect for all our men and women who protect and serve our country. I salute you!

Honors – On Monday, we honored the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Class of 2015 – our first graduating class. Herb Janssen, Ph.D., professor at the PLFSOM, was recognized at TTUHSC in Lubbock with its Distinguished Alumni Award during their GSBS commencement ceremony. This is the highest honor that a school can award to one of its graduates – so needless to say, we are very proud of him. Congrats to Dr. Janssen and all our GSBS graduates.

African Mission – In this week’s Tech View, Donald Meier, M.D., professor in the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Surgery, and his wife Patsy, provide a personal recount of their trip as medical volunteers to the Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Mbingo, Cameroon, West Africa, where they trained residents in the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons Residency Training Program. Their story reminds us that our gifts were meant to share – and for those of us able to go the distance, the impact is immeasurable. When I was a medical student, Dr. Meier was my surgery attending, and even then he was doing volunteer work and teaching in Africa.

Valuable Presentations – The Office of Diversity and Global Health Seminar Series lecture “The Global Threat and Potential Impact of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases on Human and Animal Health” will take place on Wednesday, May 20 in the Clinical Sciences Building, Auditorium 3500. On Thursday, May 21, the TTUHSC El Paso Office of Global Health Perspective Monthly Film Series will present “The Lobotomist” in the Medical Education Building, room 1110. This film provides an opportunity to learn from one of the darkest chapters in psychiatric history and shines a light on mental illness. I encourage faculty, staff and students to attend one of these informative sessions.