Janelle Chavez

I am from the small coastal town of Port Isabel, Texas where I graduated as valedictorian from Port Isabel High School. My loving family and close-knit community upbringing are what make me who I am. While by upbringing has blessed me a wonderful sense of community, it has also exposed me to health disparities that exist in the world. Motivated by my experiences in medically underserved South Texas, I am passionate about health policy, research, and medicine- especially in areas of most need. I am a Health Science Scholar majoring in biology with minors in Spanish and American Sign Language. I hope to one day couple this education with my compassion to provide the best care to as many people as possible. Outside of the classroom, I have explored my interests by serving as the Student Government Health Advisory Committee Representative, working to address health topics and issues of the student body. I have also been fortunate enough to work at the Texas Capitol with Senator Eddie Lucio as a health policy intern before and during the 85th legislative session. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru with Global Medical Training for a medical mission trip. I also had the privilege to serve as a delegate at the United Nations NOVUS World Summit where I collaborated with world leaders on issues like health promotion and inequality reduction. These experiences inspired me to co-found the Global Surgery Student Alliance at UT, an organization devoted to exposing aspiring physicians and surgeons to serving in areas of most need. Most recently, I conducted cancer prevention research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, working toward my goal of becoming not only a physician but a health advocate, saving lives both in and out of the operating room. I am grounded by my family, my upbringing and where I come from, but I’m always looking toward to the future! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to explore my passions at UT, all while being surrounded by intelligent, supporting, and inspiring friends from the Forty Acres Scholars Program.
 
Majors: Biology Honors

Honors Program: Biology Honors

Other Academic Interests: Minors: Spanish and American Sign Language

Extracurricular Activities:

United Nations – Delegate at the Novus World Summit
MD Anderson Cancer Center – Cancer Prevention Research Trainee
Office of Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. – Health Policy Intern
McGovern Medical School – Summer Medical & Dental Education Program (SMDEP) Scholar
Dell Medical School – Clinical Skills Module Run-through Volunteer
Harvard Medical School – Biomedical Sciences Careers Program Conference Attendee
Global Surgery Student Alliance – Co-Founder and Chair
Global Medical Training – Member
Student Government- Student Health Advisory Committee Representative
Freshmen Research Initiative “Epidermal Cell Fates and Pathways” – Undergraduate Researcher &
Mentor
Health Science Scholars Honors Program – HSS Ambassador
Longhorn Advocates Mentorship Program – Congressional District 27 Student Representative
Breast Cancer Resource Center – Oncology Infusion Room Volunteer

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
I was drawn to the Forty Acres Scholars Program because it is a program unlike any other. With a commitment to personal and professional development and unity amongst a diverse cohort, there is an evident vested interest in developing not only scholars at UT, but leaders for the future. Through the generosity of FASP, I have been able to partake in activities and make connections that have had profound impacts on my education and aspirations. As it’s been said, this is program so much more than a scholarship. The Forty Acres Scholars Program truly has given me incomparable experiences that will help me start here and change the world.

What makes your scholar cohort unique?
My cohort is unique because we are all vastly different yet very similar. I can name each scholar and no two of their vast talents, interests, backgrounds, or goals are the same. Still, we mesh seamlessly. I think that’s special!

Favorite FASP Memory
Favorite FASP memory was being awestruck with my fellow scholars when we had the chance to meet Kevin Durant at the Outstanding Young Texas Exes Awards Ceremony!
 
What do you want prospective students to know about the University of Texas?
I want prospective students to know that UT has a perfect niche for everyone. Coming from a small town of 5,000, it was intimidating to attend to a university of 50,000 students, but I am so grateful I did. I have reaped the benefits of attending a large state school school (unparalleled tradition, outstanding sporting events, extensive alumni network) while feeling at home with a close group of friends from organizations, honors programs, and FASP especially. I also get the fun that comes from a huge school (campus events like a free Hunter Hayes concert or a spontaneous visit from the Ellen Degeneres show) while getting the rigor of a top tier university, participating in cutting-edge research, and learning from outstanding faculty. UT has it all FOR all. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here!

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