Cracking Into Undergraduate Research

Story by Dorian Martin

Erin O’Connor, Janisah Saripada, and Oula Eldow in the lab
From left: BIMS majors Erin O’Connor, Janisah Saripada, and Oula Eldow

Chickens’ eggs serve as the foundation for three innovative studies currently underway through the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ groundbreaking initiatives, the Biomedical Research & Development Certificate and the Aggie Research Scholars Program. These programs are designed to help undergraduate students learn to do research.

Both are the brainchild of Dr. Christopher Quick, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology (VTPP). He started the programs in 2016, and they have grown to be the two largest undergraduate research programs at Texas A&M.

Although these two programs provided semester-long research opportunities to more than 800 undergraduates, they are not even close to meeting demand.

“Approximately one-quarter of undergraduates at Texas A&M get a chance to engage in research before graduating. The Aggie Research Program typically attracts three undergraduates for every research opportunity,” Quick said. “Last year, we could only support 50 percent of the undergraduates applying to the Biomedical Research Certificate Program. We recruit broadly, not to generate interest, but to make sure everyone has a fair shot at participating.”

“He showed up in the fall semester in one of my freshman seminar classes. You see this really eclectic professor come in shouting about this program,” said Janisah Saripada ’21, a biomedical sciences major who plans to attend medical school. “My friend and I said, ’Why don’t we try it out? It looks like a cool research opportunity.’”

Both programs, which serve students across Texas A&M University’s campus, use “research-intensive communities,” a model that involves teams of students coming together to work on research in groups instead of as individuals.

The model also encourages students to try a different research paradigm.

“Our research is more like, ‘See something, Test something and then get more questions from that test,’” Saripada said. “When you experiment and get more knowledge, your questions about the subject matter grow exponentially.”

Ultimately, this program prepares students for doing research in their careers, as well as graduate school.

“I think it’s a really good way to get hands-on experience because a lot of places want research, but it’s not being offered to undergraduates,” said animal science major Erin O’Connor ’21. “This is a good way for undergrads to get their foot in the door and get some actual real-world experience.”

Experiment 1: Radiation And Lymphatic Cells

BIMS major Oula Eldow ’21 and her team are using chicken eggs to study the effect of radiation on lymphatic vessels. The eggs, which are grown in flasks after being removed from their shells, allow students to easily witness changes.

“Being able to grow the eggs this way is very helpful because the blood vessels become really accessible,” Eldow said. “We can see how radiating these eggs will change the diameter of the lymphatic vessels. We also can see if these vessels grow differently when we radiate them versus if they weren’t radiated.”

The team believes this research will help them get a better understanding of radiation treatments used for cancer.

“When you radiate a tumor to stop its growth or kill its cells, the cells in the tumor get a very high dose of radiation, so they die or their growth is stopped,” said Eldow, who wants to become a pediatric primary care doctor with a goal of eventually working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). “There is a side effect in the cells surrounding the tumor, such as lymphatic cells and blood cells. These cells get a smaller dose, so our experiment is on low-dose radiation. This low-dose radiation doesn’t kill these cells, but it does change the function. We want to see what these changes are.”

From left: BIMS majors Erin O’Connor, Janisah Saripada, and Oula Eldow using a microscope
From left: BIMS majors Erin O’Connor, Janisah Saripada, and Oula Eldow conduct research in the lab.

Experiment 2: Glucose And Diabetes

Saripada’s team developed their topic through meshing some initial research interests. Initially she was interested in researching how a ketogenic diet affects the body’s blood vessels. She met another student who was interested in looking at the effect of glucose in the body.

“I thought, ‘Oh, it would be a perfect idea to mesh these two projects together and look at one single disease, diabetes, because diabetes affects the levels of glucose and ketones in your body,’” the junior noted.

Using a chicken egg offers a useful way to study this problem.

“We add glucose, which is a type of sugar, and ketones, which are chemicals produced when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to convert sugar into energy,” Saripada said. “We’re basically trying to model diabetes, specifically gestational diabetes, using the Chick CAM model since it has many similarities to human embryonic development.”

Experiment 3: Sodium Fluoride And The Microvascular System

O’Connor and her team are using chicken eggs to try to detect changes in the microvascular structure through low doses of sodium fluoride.

“We chose this because we found other studies that showed that sodium fluoride affected embryo growth in frogs,” the Uvalde resident said. “We know that sodium fluoride can be in daily products, such as water and toothpaste, so we are trying to see what happens with low doses. Are they actually harmful or is it something that needs to be watched out for?”

The research may open doors for additional research on the microvascular system’s response to other teratogens.

“Teratogens are any agent or substance that affect the development of an embryo, such as malformations or birth defects,” O’Connor said. “This is important because we want to be able to identify any environmental factors that can pose a detrimental effect to a developing embryo or fetus.”

Growing Scholars And Leaders

These programs also give undergraduates the opportunities to develop skills that will serve them both inside and outside the research lab.

“The most valuable skills I’ve learned have been realizing how to work with team members and how to use everyone’s skills to really push the project in a positive direction in order to see results,” O’Connor said.

Eldow has enjoyed the opportunity to grow as both a researcher and a leader.

“This research is something that I’m very passionate about,” she said. “It’s helped me grow as a leader and grow as a student.”


Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of CVM Today.

For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences;; 979-862-4216

CVM Academic Adviser Receives Campus-Wide Excellence Award

Michael Black headshot

Michael Black, an academic adviser for the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) undergraduate biomedical sciences (BIMS) program, has received a 2020 Honoring Excellence Award from the Department of Residence Life in the Texas A&M Division of Student Affairs.

The first Honoring Excellence Award recipient from the CVM, Black was among seven Texas A&M faculty and staff members selected to receive this year’s awards for outstanding support of on-campus students’ academic success.

“Having served at East Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University for 18 years, I can firmly say that no one does higher education like Texas A&M University,” Black said. “I have been here a little over a year and each day, I am renewed with awe of the quality of our students and the education they receive here at this great university.

“I stand on the shoulders of those who built this amazing experience we call ‘Aggieland.’ It’s an honor to serve and call this place home.”

Michael Black and other BIMS advisersSelection for the award is based on contributions beyond occupational requirements through guidance, leadership, and personal interest to enhance students’ academic experiences. In addition, recipients typically serve as role models, advocate for student issues, recognize the uniqueness of every student, and are committed to students’ wellbeing.

He was nominated for the award by on-campus student residents and selected by the Honoring Excellence Award Selection Committee, which comprises faculty, staff, and students, for his positive impacts on the campus community.

“To be recognized is so special, but to be nominated by students makes this award incredibly meaningful,” Black said. “I want to reflect on my career in higher education knowing that students were cared for and well-served.”

Black was formally recognized and presented with his award at the Honoring Excellence Awards Ceremony on Jan. 31.


Finding the Fusion of Art and Science

Story by Megan Myers

Alex Golden, a December graduate from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) biomedical sciences (BIMS) master’s program, has always wanted to be a doctor.

While growing up in New Jersey, Golden developed a love for dance, theater, and the arts, and so he decided to combine all of his passions during his undergraduate education at Rutgers University by majoring in Spanish and double minoring in biology and dance.

“I originally got into the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, but after talking to the health professions office, they said, ‘You don’t have to be a science major to go to medical school,’” he recalled. “I wanted to do the dance minor because I have always done artistic endeavors and a lot of theater, so I thought that this would be a good break in between my science classes.”

At Rutgers, the connection between art and medicine was reinforced as Golden participated in a research project on dance therapy and Parkinson’s disease at Rutgers’ Aresty Research Center.

“Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive illness that there’s no cure for and the disease involves a loss of motor function over time,” Golden said. “Some research has shown that if someone with Parkinson’s increases their movement repertoire, it might slow down the progression of the disease.”

Working with certified movement specialists who were trained through the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York, Golden saw first-hand the benefits that the therapy offered.

“Not all of the people who come into these therapy sessions had Parkinson’s disease; their caretaker or their spouse would come with them,” he said. “Everyone danced together and you didn’t even know at that point who had Parkinson’s and who didn’t. It was a good atmosphere, the therapy worked, people were happy, and it improved quality of life.”

After graduating from Rutgers, Golden decided to take a year off from school to gain experience as a medical scribe. When his family moved to Austin, he followed and began working at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock.

“A scribe goes into the clinical appointments with the physician and types the medical note that is going to be kept on file for the patient,” Golden said. “The doctor and the patient can have more one-on-one time and the doctor doesn’t have to really worry about taking the notes.

“I learned everything from the legalities of taking a medical note, to how a physician should interact with a patient, to all the vocabulary and linguistics that are necessary—the specialized language of medicine,” he said.

During his gap year, Golden applied to medical school but didn’t get in, leading him to examine his application for any shortcomings. Deciding that he needed to raise his science GPA, he began looking for a master’s program to help him accomplish that.

“I looked at a lot of programs in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania,” Golden said. “I got into every program I applied to.

“The BIMS program at Texas A&M was the only one I applied to in Texas. I was a little unsure about it, but then after looking into it, that changed,” he said. “After orientation and talking to a couple of people, I knew this program would provide me with the resources I needed to reapply and be successful.”

Luckily, the BIMS master’s program proved to be the perfect fit for Golden.

“It was really nice to learn about all of the ‘-ologies’ from a broader spectrum,” he said. “There’s a lot of comparative anatomy in this program, since it’s at the veterinary school. You get a more well-rounded view of things that could exist in the animal kingdom and then how you can extrapolate that into human medicine.

“The faculty and staff are amazing; they’re very supportive and helpful,” he said. “They host everything from social to academic to networking events. It really allows you to make of it what you want it to be. You just have to take the initiative, but they supply you with all the tools.”

When it came time to begin applying for medical school again, Golden was pleased to receive an interview invitation for the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio and then an acceptance only three weeks later.

“I think the most important part of applying to a professional school is getting the interview,” Golden said. “Getting the GPA and the admission test score is up to the individual and essentially what admissions committees use to screen applicants, but the interview is what decides if you’re going or not. It’s what sets you apart from other people and I think that this particular master’s program helps you get that interview.”

Golden plans to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine, which he describes as a holistic approach to medicine that focuses on treating the patient rather than the disease.

“I feel like my personality and my belief system align more with an osteopathic physician,” he said. “I’ve always been an artsy person, so I felt like I never really fit in with more of a typical, 100-percent scientific crowd.

“One of the tenants of osteopathic practice is that disease and pathology arise from a musculoskeletal disorder,” he said. “So, they do these adjustments, manipulations, or massages in certain areas of the body to prevent further injury or harm. I grew up doing competitive gymnastics, so I’ve always done a lot of things with my body, in terms of manipulation and exercise and the musculoskeletal system, so I appreciate that aspect of it.”

He ultimately plans to specialize as an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN), a career he fell in love with after shadowing his cousin and her husband, both OB-GYNs in New Jersey.

“I think a female population is one that I, as a gay male, would be able to interact with and be received well by the patient,” Golden said. “I think women’s health, in general, is a field that lacks male support, so it’d be nice to have another male advocate out there helping women in this.

“Also, I feel like since I’m not going to be able to have kids the traditional way, I’m going to have to look into IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and other non-traditional methods of having children, like surrogacy and adoption.”

Though his path to medical school may not have gone exactly as planned, Golden is thankful for the experiences he has gained along the way and excited to finally begin his medical program.

“I’m ready to start my career,” he said. “I’m just excited to actually begin learning, so I can practice. I’ve been dreaming about being a doctor forever.”


For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science;; 979-862-4216

Biomedical Sciences Student Selected as Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior of the Year

Story by Dorian Martin

Demonta Coleman with his awards in Rudder plaza
Demonta Coleman

As the first in his family to attend college, Demonta Coleman already is a trailblazer.

Coleman, who is a Texas A&M University biomedical sciences (BIMS) major, has climbed to new heights over the past three years. Most recently, he was selected to receive the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior Award and Texas A&M University’s Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior of the Year.

Phi Kappa Phi (PKP), a multi-disciplinary honor society, annually recognizes the outstanding junior selected from each Texas A&M college. The recognition is presented in a collaboration between The Association of Former Students, LAUNCH: Academic Excellence, and Texas A&M’s PKP chapter. Selection criteria for this honor includes the student’s academic record, research and/or creative production, community engagement, and accomplishments/awards.

In addition, each of these outstanding juniors is considered for the Texas A&M Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior for the Year. This award is highly valued when students apply for national academic awards programs such as the Rhodes Scholars or Fulbright Scholars.

“The Gathright Outstanding Junior is selected from all of the juniors of their college, so it is not surprising that choosing between them to select the Texas A&M Outstanding Junior is a difficult task. All of our 2019 Gathright Outstanding Juniors have outstanding academic records, impressive resumes, and all gave strong interviews,” said Dr. Jonathan Kotinek, director of Texas A&M’s LAUNCH: Honors. “Demonta Coleman was selected because of the impressive breadth and quality of his activities, which include research and extensive service, as well as his strong interview responses related to his career plans in medicine and pursuing life-long learning.”

The award highlights how far Coleman has come in such a short period of time.

“Applying for college, in general, was hard because I didn’t know much about college to begin with,” the Lufkin native said. “My interest in Texas A&M was based on seeing many people around my hometown wearing A&M apparel, so I thought it must be a good school.”

Coleman’s desire to become a scientist and his top grades in school meant that he was a perfect match for Texas A&M. He hasn’t been disappointed.

Dr. Elizabeth Crouch and Demonta Coleman with his award
Dr. Elizabeth Crouch and Demonta Coleman

“It’s a really welcoming atmosphere. I’ve always felt like I’m part of something bigger than myself,” he said. “There are a ton of resources on campus and a lot of professors show that they care about your success.”

Coleman is particularly interested in organic chemistry and is participating in the Aggie Research Scholars program for undergraduate students. His research is focused on cancer.

“CD44, a transmembrane receptor, is overly produced in embryonic stem cells, and studies show this overproduction is directly linked so various forms of cancer. CD44 is activated when specific natural molecules bind, leading to increased growth and survival of cancerous cells,” Coleman said.

“Our research goal is to test whether this receptor can be blocked by the non-natural amino acid, boronophenylalanine, so that the growth promoting molecules cannot bind,” he said. “This will be achieved through the incorporation of this amino acid onto a protein on the surface of a phage, which is a small bacterial virus, and exposure of this phage to the CD44. Phage display of the non-natural amino allows for the rapid production of potential peptide sequences whose binding properties for CD44 can be quantified.”

Coleman, who is also a Regents Scholar, has been involved in a variety of service efforts across campus. He’s a mentor in the Foundations of Continued Undergraduate Success (FOCUS) Learning Community through Texas A&M’s Office for Student Success. In that role, Coleman works with three other mentors to assist incoming freshmen, many of whom are first-generation students like himself, as they transition into college. He also serves as a tutor through Texas A&M’s Academic Success Center’s TutorHub.

His professors believe Coleman will have a strong professional career ahead of him.

“Demonta is an outstanding student with many options before him. He has significant research experience, is a peer mentor and tutor, and excellent academician,” said Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, CVM’s associate dean for undergraduate education, who nominated Coleman for the college-level award.  “What most stands out when you speak with him is his enthusiasm for learning and his excitement about his future. And, truly, he is a student who has excelled and will continue to excel in all his future endeavors.”


For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science;; 979-862-4216

McAllen Biomedical Sciences Program Experiences Student, Faculty Growth

Responding to regional industry needs, community planning, and student interest in the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) extended its biomedical sciences (BIMS) program to the Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen last fall.

The Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen building and sign, with palm trees and a cloudy skyNow celebrating its first full year of operations, the program is experiencing fantastic growth in student interest, faculty hires, and coursework.

The McAllen BIMS program enrolled 49 freshmen in the fall 2018 semester, aligned with quality standards and a goal of 50 students in its first semester.  Fall 2019 will continue this trajectory, with 49 new students enrolled and set to begin classes Aug. 26.

“We’re excited to begin our second cohort of freshmen, but equally excited to see the sophomore students take advantage of mentoring the first-year students, participating in the first-year experiences, and helping them to succeed,” said Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, the associate dean of undergraduate education at the CVM.

“The students at the McAllen campus are proud to be part of the Texas A&M family and have already created their own set of unique Aggie traditions as ‘P.A.L.M. Aggies,’” Crouch said, referring to the acronym that stands for “Passionate Aggies Leading McAllen,” which was selected by the initial cohort of students to guide their fish camp experience and student activities.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen provides Texas A&M with the opportunity to extend tier one education choice to one of the fastest growing regions in Texas, with a culturally and economically diverse population focused on workforce development, educational attainment, and career success.

“The four-county area of the Lower Rio Grande Valley sits at a ‘crossroads,’ not only as a region dealing with immense growth and change, but as one of the most active international land ports of entry in the world,” Crouch said.  “The opportunity to provide our leading BIMS program expands undergraduate educational outreach, improves our overall capacity, and creates unique setting for real-world ‘Global One Health’ problems to be studied.

“We are also able to offer interested students the BIMS degree with a setting that benefits from lower student-faculty ratio, lower cost of living, and advantages of these real-world educational opportunities that are unique to the McAllen campus,” Crouch said.

In addition to the influx of BIMS students at McAllen, new faculty members are also joining the “P.A.L.M. Aggie” community.

This past spring, Dr. Catherine Busch-Silkwood joined the McAllen team as the first faculty member for the BIMS program. An instructional assistant professor of pathobiology, Busch-Silkwood taught “Introduction to Biomedical Sciences” (BIMS 101),“Introduction to Phenotypic Expression in the Context of Human Medicine” (BIMS 201), and “Genetics in the News” (VTPB 212).

Busch-Silkwood has also taken on the informal role of serving as a faculty adviser in concert with the current Higher Education Center at McAllen advising staff member Josette Gonzalez.

“As we grow our program, it’s nice to have Catherine begin developing the close faculty-student relations we are known for at Texas A&M University,” Crouch said. “As a ‘startup’ operation, the HEC is a close-knit community. Coupled with Josette’s passion for academic advising, BIMS students in McAllen are poised for success.”

Dr. Negin Mirhosseini, a microbiologist, will soon be joining the McAllen-based faculty, allowing a total of six CVM-taught courses to be available for students this fall, in addition to core curriculum course offerings from the Texas A&M College of Science, College of Liberal Arts, and School of Public Health.

The McAllen BIMS program also plans to hire an anatomist within the next year and, eventually, a physiologist as well.

These new faculty members and the courses they will offer will combine well with the public health degree offerings underway, providing students with a “Global One Health” viewpoint of biomedical sciences, Crouch said.

One of the many benefits of the McAllen BIMS program is that it provides students from the Rio Grande Valley with the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree from the CVM without having to leave the region.

“We have always been blessed to attract a large number of students from the Rio Grande Valley to study at the main campus in College Station; however, for many students, familial commitments, distance from home, and living expenses associated with moving north for school are barriers to their success,” Crouch said. “The McAllen BIMS program puts Texas A&M education in the valley, offering the students a biomedical sciences degree at home, while fostering the relationship between the students in the valley and the opportunities they have with the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

“By creating an opportunity for students to stay close to home for the first four years of their education after high school, we believe we can provide a high-quality experience with our classic animal health focus, preparing students for furthering their education in pre-professional education opportunities in veterinary medicine and other fields, or in launching their career in  bioscience research, pharmaceutical, and public health fields,” she said.


For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science;; 979-862-4216

Honoring Michelle

Inspired by her late daughter-in-law’s lifetime of generosity, Linda Holsey has endowed the Michelle Lynn Holsey Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences to provide financial assistance to a student who plans to pursue a medical degree. 


Michelle Lynn Holsey and her family

When Michelle Lynn Holsey was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 2003, she told her family that she wouldn’t let the disease stop her from helping others.

Her family recalls their days traveling from Crockett to Houston’s M.D. Anderson and how Michelle would always stop to talk to people in the waiting room. She had an especially soft heart for the parents of small children who were also going through their own cancer battles or those who had to miss weeks of work to receive care.

Michelle always went out of her way to strike up conversations and form lasting relationships with the people she met. They’d begin their treatments as strangers, but Michelle easily earned their friendship.

After numerous surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments—including traveling to Germany for an innovative treatment—her cancer persisted and, sadly, in 2006, Michelle passed away.

“Throughout the entire process, Michelle maintained an attitude of confidence and fought a valiant battle the same way she lived her life with faith, hope, and dignity,” said Linda Holsey, Michelle’s mother-in-law.

Inspired by Michelle’s lifetime of generosity, her family was determined to continue her legacy and ensure that her giving spirit lives on, establishing the Michelle Lynn Holsey Foundation shortly after her passing to assist those battling cancer and other debilitating diseases, while funding innovative treatments and supporting education.

“The foundation has monthly grant meetings at which time qualifying grant applicants are awarded funds to meet their needs, and yearly scholarships are given to graduating seniors in both Houston and Brazos Counties,” Linda said. “The foundation continues to grow and help those in need with the help of various yearly fundraisers and the generosity of the community and friends across the nation.

“Our largest fundraiser is the annual five-day National Cutting Horse Association-sanctioned event held the first week of October, currently at the Brazos County Expo Center, with a steak dinner, live and silent auctions, and a concert on Saturday night of the cutting week,” she said.

Because of Michelle’s experience with some very hardworking doctors, Linda decided to honor Michelle in her own way, by establishing an endowed scholarship in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) undergraduate program to help a future medical student.

Giving to Texas A&M is also special to the family because two of Michelle’s daughters—Hannah Lynn Holsey Craycraft and Holly Ann Holsey, as well as son-in-law Clint Craycraft—are Aggie graduates.

“Michelle gave unconditional love and loyalty to everyone she met. She was a source of wisdom, an exemplary role model, a loving mother and wife, and a tireless volunteer to many causes. She unknowingly blessed everyone she came in contact with simply by being herself,” Linda said. “I wanted to create this scholarship to help soon-to-be medical students pay for their education and get off on the right track.”

The BIMS program in the CVM is one of the largest degree-granting majors at Texas A&M, and students in the program explore many aspects of applied biology related to health and disease. Students in the program frequently go on to careers or post-secondary education in fields like medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry.

The Michelle Lynn Holsey Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences is one of 12 endowed scholarships in the program.

“The Biomedical Sciences program is very thankful to the family of Michelle Lynn Holsey for this scholarship. Her story is inspirational and many of our students decide to pursue medicine because of patients such as Michelle,” said Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, CVM associate dean for undergraduate education. “The award to be made in her name will assist an undergraduate who has many years of education for which to pay and, when they hear her story, I know they will be further motivated to work hard and succeed both academically and professionally.”

Because the scholarship is endowed, it will provide annual awards to aspiring medical students in perpetuity. The scholarship will be awarded to its first recipient in the fall of 2019.



For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science;; 979-862-4216

BIMS Board Meets to Prepare for Year

BIMS board group photoThe Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Board had its first meeting of the year under the direction of newly elected president Dr. Mark Vara on April 27.

Engaged and ready to make this the best year yet, during the meeting, members of the board selected at least one committee on which to serve from three choices: mentoring, fundraising, and marketing.

The board also established a new mission statement—”To provide support as ambassadors, both financially and through mentorship, to undergraduate students and program in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.”

The BIMS Board comprises 24 biomedical sciences alumni who are dedicated to supporting the college by working to increase current and former student engagement, student scholarship opportunities, and job and internship placement opportunities.

Among the board’s upcoming activities include the annual BIMS tailgate, hosted by Vanguard, on September 8, when the Aggies take on Clemson.

If you or someone you know would like more information on being part of the BIMS Board, contact assistant director of development Jordan Kuhn at 317-502-3204 or