CMS foundation helping students

Friday, September 01, 2017 12:55 PM
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CMS Education Foundation 2016-2017 scholarship recipients

by Michael J. Campo, PhD, support staff, Colorado Medical Society Education Foundation

Congratulations to first-year students from the University of Colorado School of Medicine – Casey Dolen, Alec Kerins and Taylor Wand – who were awarded scholarships from the Colorado Medical Society Education Foundation (CMS EF). Brandie Lawrence, a first-year student from Rocky Vista University, was also awarded a scholarship. Each received $5,000.

CMS EF, a 501(c)(3) private foundation, renders financial support to select first-year medical students based on criteria such as the student’s financial status, academic achievement and desire to practice in rural or underserved areas upon graduation. Beyond scholarships, CMS EF supports education programs such as the Colorado State Science and Engineering Fair and the education program at the CMS annual meeting.

“The CMS EF Board is thankful for the generous support and financial contribution from CMS members who make our education scholarships possible,” said CMS EF Board Chair Jerry Appelbaum, MD, FACP. The scholarship recipients are as follows.

Casey Dolen is an incoming freshman at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His motivation to pursue medicine comes from a decade of experience as both a paramedic in Colorado Springs and overseas in Afghanistan, where he provided medical support to civilians. Most recently, he has worked as a community paramedic with the Colorado Springs Fire Department Community and Public Health Division. Casey graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Healthcare Science from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. His career interests include family medicine, emergency medicine and public health, and he hopes to practice in Colorado after graduation.

Alec Kerins grew up in Helena, Mont., and spent the past eight years advocating for educational equity as a teacher, school leader and district administrator in urban school districts across the West. After graduating from Lewis & Clark College, Alec joined Teach for America and taught high school science in one of the nation’s most underperforming school districts. Driven by the inequities he experienced in the classroom, Alec is transitioning to medicine to feed his love for science, health care and community. In his free time, Alec enjoys trail running, camping, skiing and experiencing small, rural communities around Colorado. As a first-year medical student, Alec is eager to combine his rural roots with his experience in urban communities to help ensure all Coloradans have access to the resources necessary to thrive.

Brandie Lawrence was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. She attended the South Texas High School for Health Professions “Med-High” in Mercedes, Texas. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and a Master of Science degree from the American College of Healthcare Science based in Portland, Ore. Brandie recently completed additional prerequisite courses and research on pain dynamics at the University of Colorado-Denver. Brandie has a long history of community service, including positions with Boy Scouts of America, HealthSET and the USAF Key Spouse program. Brandie matriculated into medical school at Rocky Vista University in July of 2017. She is passionate about a future in rural family practice and pain management therapy. She spends her free time cuddling with her Great Danes and enjoying the great outdoors.

Taylor Wand grew up in Boulder, Colo., and has lived in the state for most of his life. Being raised here, he was constantly in the mountains, exploring the wilderness and natural world around him. These experiences fostered a strong appreciation and wonder for the plants, animals and humans that make up life on our planet. He attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and it was here that he discovered his passion for science and understanding the natural world through this lens. This interest led him to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., where for the past three years he conducted immunology research as a fellow. Surrounded by outstanding physicians and researchers, his interest in medicine flourished and after many experiences in the clinic and laboratory, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. He has always found great meaning in serving those in need and is very grateful to now have the opportunity to begin his medical education.

Posted in: Colorado Medicine


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