Day of service gives Medical Science students a sense of community
By Jan Jarvis
Before ever taking their first class, Medical Science students had donated 800 hours of service to the community at 11 area organizations.
“In a single day, they made new friends and practiced all of our values,” said Carla Johnson, Executive Director of Student Services & Admissions in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. “They had great experiences; there was a lot of good being done in the Fort Worth community on behalf of UNT Health Science Center.”
This is the fifth year that a Day of Service has been included in the Medical Science program orientation. The day dedicated to giving to others has grown to include 236 students and 19 volunteers.
What started out as a team-building activity during orientation has grown to a successful way to help many organizations throughout the community, Johnson said.
Students benefit as well from learning about the community and the rewards of service, said Kalan Barnes, an orientation leader for this year’s GSBS Medical Sciences class and an alumna from the 2018-2019 class.
“To be immersed in this giving and selfless nature from week one is an inspiring way to motivate the new students,” she said. “It not only gives us a way to contribute to noble causes, but allows the new students to form close and lasting friendships through the positivity that comes with serving our community.”
Students volunteered for a wide variety of activities from prepping clothes for sale through the Center for Transforming Lives to weeding and pruning at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Botanical Research Institute of Fort Worth.
Sorting packages at the Food Bank was rewarding for student Lucy Yu.
“Immersing us into service activities right away set the tone for our program and shows how UNTHSC is truly dedicated to service,” she said. “I don’t know of another program which does that at orientation.”
The intentional efforts, leadership and enthusiasm of GSBS faculty, staff and students to engage in the Day of Service from the beginning of the Med Sci Program highlights the Health Science Center’s commitment to Serve Others First, said Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, PhD, MBA, Vice Provost, Community Engagement & Services.
“It sends a powerful message that, intertwined with an exceptional academic education, creating solutions for a healthier community is how we live our mission,” she said.
Student Arturo Delgado said that growing up in Fort Worth he always heard that UNTHSC was passionate about having an impact on the community. His experience with a Day of Service proved that was true.
“During our orientation day of service, not only did I have the opportunity to witness service to others, I had the privilege of being part of the team providing the services,” he said. “Other classmates and I feel extremely proud to be a part of a new family at UNTHSC where we are putting others before us and actively striving to have a positive impact in our neighboring communities.”