Service Learning Symposium Sees Jump in Participation

On Feb. 12, TTUHSC El Paso students and faculty gathered on campus for the ninth annual Service Learning Symposium.

This year the symposium saw a large jump in participation, with more posters, abstracts and oral presentations than ever before, said Elizabeth McCain, a Paul L. Foster School of Medicine student and member of the symposium’s organizing committee. The symposium showcases the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s philosophy of service education, a form of teaching that encourages meaningful community service.

“Students all across TTUHSC El Paso are doing community service all the time, and this symposium gives them the opportunity to reflect on what they’ve done,” McCain said.

Oral presenters participating in the 9th annual Service Learning Symposium gathered outside of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

Oral presenters participating in the 9th annual Service Learning Symposium gathered for a group photo outside of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

Emma Schwartz, president of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, gave the keynote address. Schwartz spoke to a standing room-only crowd about how the medical industry, propelled in part by the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, has transformed the El Paso region.

After the keynote, there were oral presentations and poster presentations, all of which allowed students to teach others about the needs of the community and ways to get involved, said E. Lee Rosenthal, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H., a school of medicine faculty member and key organizer of the event.

Fifteen community groups hosted tables at the symposium to let students know about volunteer opportunities. Veteran’s Non Profit honored TTUHSC El Paso’s Student Government Association with a plaque for helping organize a veteran’s health resources fair as a part of the MLK Day of Service. Symposium organizers were joined by the Office of Outreach and Community Engagement to formally acknowledge and thank these organizations for being a part of the symposium, for the work they do in the community and for their support of service opportunities for TTUHSC El Paso students.

Symposium organizers thanked TTUHSC El Paso's community partners for their participation in the event and for offering community service opportunities to TTUHSC El Paso students.

The Department of Medical Education, which organized the symposium, thanked TTUHSC El Paso’s community partners for their participation in the event and for offering service opportunities to TTUHSC El Paso students.

The symposium had eight oral presentations: seven from TTUHSC El Paso and one from the UT-Houston School of Public Health on a new project related to immigration. The event featured 22 poster presentations, including two from pre-health sciences groups from the University of Texas at El Paso and one from the Maxine Silva Health Magnet School.

“Overall, we had almost twice the number of presentations we’ve had in years past,” Rosenthal said. “Each of the different presentations from all the student groups are based on volunteering that is self-directed. They pick the kinds of things they want to be engaged with, including both clinical and non-clinical topics. The variety is impressive.”

At the end of the symposium, first- through third-year medical students who had completed at least 100 hours of community service were honored and inducted into the school’s 100-Hour Club, an acknowledgment of their service to the community. Some were also honored for completing 250 hours and 500 hours of community service. Forty-eight students from the class of 2020 and 2021 were recognized collectively for more than 11,000 hours of service. Fourth-year students will be honored at graduation for their community service.

McCain said the opportunity to be inducted into the 100-Hour Club encourages students to volunteer, keep track of their hours and reflect on what they’ve learned from community service.

The following awards were given at the end of the symposium for oral and poster presentations:

Oral Presentation Winner – Innovation

“Immigration and Health: Let Us Prevent a Greater Crisis”

Marcela Murga, UT-Houston School of Public Health

Oral Presentation Winner – Sustained

“Seeds of Change: Promoting Science Education and Interest Through Medical Student-Led Lessons and Activities at a Local Elementary School in El Paso, Texas”

Loc-Uyen Vo, M.P.H.; Andres Santos, Ph.D.; Herb Janssen, Ph.D.

Oral Presentation Winner – People’s Choice

“Martin Luther King Day of Service”

David Arteche, Elizabeth McCain, Grant Pham, Manuel Garza, Skye Schultz, Subodh Potla, Opiyema Oyetunde, Ashely Priego, Austin Adams, E. Lee Rosenthal, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Poster Winner – Innovation

“Hand in Hand to Serve the Community: The Perfect Partnership”

Andrea Silvas, Mariel Ochoa, Karen Vaz, Col. Jerret Sands

Poster Winner – Sustained

“Seeking Improvement to Care: The Impact of Relocating the Salud Sin Fronteras Clinic on Our Patient Population and Volunteers”

Lynn Vu, Jocelyn Carnicle, Kelsey Van Noy

Poster Winner – Sustained with Innovation

“A Report on Preventative Health Screenings Provided by a Medical Student Run Clinic”

Maria Aleman, Rebekah Bongato, Carlos Lodeiro, Franz Puyol, Loc-Uyen Vo, M.P.H., Maureen Francis, M.D.

Poster Winner – Pre-Health Sciences Engagement

“Joint Admissions Medical Program Service Program”

Jordan Carter, Giselle Angermaier

Poster Winner – People’s Choice

“A Visit With Birds”

Silva Magnet School: Disha Ganjegunte, Jessica De La Torre, Elise Munnerman, Sofia Delgado

The symposium recognized the following first- through third-year medical students who completed 100, 250 and 500 hours of community service.

Hour Club Awardees Class of 2020

500 Hours

  • Franz Puyol
  • Rebekah Bongato
  • Carlos Lodeiro

200 Hours

  • Heather Jones
  • Calvin McNelly
  • Grant Pham
  • Hugo Quezada
  • Renet Roy
  • Elizabeth McCain

100 Hours

  • Lindsay Wencel
  • Natalia Luna
  • David Arteche
  • Garrett Walker
  • Alexandra Willauer
  • Hoanganh Doan
  • Priyanka Kesavan
  • Amanda Macias
  • Sajid Leelani
  • Blair Quattrochi
  • Noe Caballero
  • Maggie Scribner
  • Darya Falamarzi
  • Servando Rivera
  • Jorge Guerra

Hour Club Awardees Class of 2021

500 Hours

  • Mariel Ochoa
  • Roxann Lerma
  • Sharon Joseph
  • Liliana Bonilla

200 Hours

  • Christian Castro
  • Zainab Alam
  • Kristopher Van Huss
  • Brittney Olivarez
  • Eryn Pynes
  • Maiqui Jimena

100 Hours

  • Eliezer Hernandez
  • Juan Aragon
  • Andrea Silvas
  • Karen Vaz
  • Kelsey Van Noy
  • Lynn Vu
  • Akaanksh Shetty
  • Alexia Jauregui
  • Risheng Ye
  • Amy Arrieta
  • Nayana Thomas
  • Jocelyn Carnicle
  • Katherine Arriola
  • Roberto Garcia