During October, the students at the Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk were treated to two fun and educational programs.
The first event was a surprise Blue Coat Ceremony for the school’s seventh graders. When they gathered in the school’s auditorium, they thought they would just be receiving certificates honoring their commitment and hard work. Little did they know, they would actually be receiving blue coats representing their interest or commitment to pursuing careers in the health professions.
When they found out why they were really gathered, the excitement and nerves were palpable. Like white coats presented to medical, allied health and graduate students, donning the blue coat symbolizes the students’ commitment to the health professions.
In attendance at the event was Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president and dean of research at Baylor, to offer the students a few words of encouragement as they pursue their education and, eventually, careers.
“It was in my seventh grade biology class that I began to envision a health professions career,” he said. “It is great to come back to my roots and talk with you all. In my years of experience with biotech, the field has been so much fun because I’ve had the chance to make so many positive impacts on the world.”
After Kuspa’s remarks, the students donned their coats, which were presented to them by staff from Rusk, student volunteers from Baylor and Kuspa.
Throughout the ceremony, it was clear the students knew how special it was to be receiving their coat and they wore them proudly.
The second event was a special radiology presentation for the sixth graders. Baylor radiologists, led by Dr. Tamara Ortiz-Perez, prepared six different stations that the students could rotate through and each station lasted about 10 minutes. The students thoroughly enjoyed learning more about what it means to be a doctor, specifically a radiologist.
This also is not the first time the radiologists have done a community outreach program like this. They previously visited schools located in the West University and Rice area as well as Frost Elementary School. Their hope is that the program continues to expand.