Rusk sixth graders: Welcome to the family!

Following in the tradition of hosting students from our Houston Independent School District pipeline schools, sixth graders from the Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk were welcomed into the Baylor family last month during their first visit to campus.

Rusk Academy is a health sciences and technology magnet middle school that offers its students a rigorous, one-of-a-kind educational experience featuring unique curriculum developed by Baylor’s Center for Educational Outreach. Transitioned from a traditional campus to the magnet concept in 2016, the school is part of Baylor’s successful pipeline program that provides students who aspire to careers in health and science with college preparatory education.

Other HISD schools in the pipeline program are DeBakey High School for Health Professions and the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School. Students from both of those schools have annual field trips to Baylor, and finally it was Rusk’s turn.

Students gathered in Cullen Auditorium where they were greeted by Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president and dean of research and interim dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and then heard from Dr. Tyson Pillow, associate professor of emergency medicine and residency program director in EM, with tips for a path to success.

“Take advantage of opportunities and you will do amazing things,” Pillow said. He also told students that, “It’s important when you close your eyes and think of your future, that you see yourselves working hard in high school and in college. Have a vision, not just of fancy houses or cars, but of your path – how you get there.”

Pillow also advocated for finding mentors and, once the young students have achieved success, for giving back to others.

The middle schoolers also attended a presentation from Dr. Ming Zhang, professor and director of anatomical sciences, who demonstrated the Anatomage technology that’s used in Baylor’s anatomy training curriculum. Learn more in this video about Anatomage. Faculty and staff from the Simulation Center also demonstrated to the middle schoolers high-tech simulation equipment that medical and health professions students use to master skills such as cardiac assessment, lumbar puncture, CPR and more. And lastly, a panel of Baylor medical, graduate and health professions students offered up their best advice for those middle schoolers interested in continuing on the path to a career in health and medicine.

Perhaps the open house sparked in some of the Rusk students the interest and ambition to land back at Baylor one day, as a trainee or even a faculty member!

-By Dana Benson