This Commencement celebrates high schoolers 'graduating' from Upstate

This Commencement celebrates high schoolers 'graduating' from Upstate

Forty-six students from two Syracuse high schools have “graduated” from Upstate Medical University Medical Education for Diverse Students (MEDS) program.

The students--from Henninger High School and the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler--were honored during a ceremony in the Medical Alumni Auditorium April 11.

In her keynote address, Julie R. White, PhD, Dean of Student Affairs, urged the students to stay in touch, adding that she’d like to welcome them a few years from now during Upstate’s New Student Orientation.

“We need you,” said White, citing projected shortages of physicians and other health care providers in the coming years. “Our patients will need you, and our communities will need you.”

The MEDS students came to campus six times during the academic year. Each visit had a different focus and was led by Upstate medical students, faculty and health care providers.

Topics included anatomy (brain, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal), CPR, suturing, tourniquet usage, public health (smoking) and vital signs.

“Students also participated in case-based learning and practiced clinical skills,” said first-year medical student Jessica Astudillo, a MEDS mentor. “Guest speakers, including respiratory therapists and nurses, were invited in for Career Exploration.”

Astudillo will be one of the program’s Service Learning Leaders next year, along with classmates Brian Dougherty, Althea Porter and Gary Shmorgon. This year’s leaders were second-year medical students Jennifer Cheung, Mike DePasquale, Eunie Jung and Jiayin Sun.

“Our students are the best of the best,” White told the MEDS students and their high school teachers. “I couldn’t wish better role models for you. They make me proud every single day.”

The MEDS program, in its fifth year, is sponsored by Upstate’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Roosevelt Fund.

Caption: The students--from Henninger High School and the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler--are now graduates of Upstate’s Medical Education for Diverse Students program.

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