Homegrown Healing

Posted on Jan 25, 2019 in Campus News and News

“Access to health care is critical for us all, no matter where we live,” said Chancellor Doug Girod. “This will become even more important as our state’s population continues to age in the coming years, further increasing demand. With many of the counties in our state remaining medically underserved, KU has a distinctive responsibility to help fill that need.”

Read about how medical and nursing programs in Salina are creating more health care providers for rural Kansas communities.

Watch the video below to see how faculty and staff at the Salina Health Education Center are educating the next generation of physicians and nurses. Read additional coverage in issue No. 1, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.


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KU Mentoring connects neuroscience student with surgeon

Posted on Oct 11, 2018 in Campus News and News

Thomas Angel took the long road to the University of Kansas, but he’s making sure his time here counts. Thanks to the power of the KU Mentoring platform, Angel connected with a practicing surgeon who he will shadow over winter break.

Coming to KU

After nearly a decade deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, Angel tore his PCL and had microfracture surgery. He chose to be “med boarded out” and  applied to the University of Kansas on his girlfriend’s recommendation.

Angel is pursuing a double major in Latin and behavioral neuroscience, the latter of which requires an extensive amount of shadowing to be accepted into medical school. After studying abroad in Italy last summer, he was looking for a mentorship with someone in his dream career of neurosurgery.

Thomas Angel in KuwaitThomas Angel at an Italian hospital

Making a Connection

After learning about the KU Alumni Mentoring platform through the Student Alumni Leadership Board, Angel jumped at the opportunity. “I don’t think people realize how hard it is to find doctors who are willing to let students shadow,” he said.

One of the recommended mentors was Dr. John Aucar, c’82, MD’86, an acute care surgeon and KU alumnus. Angel connected with him through the platform and they set up a meeting that Saturday.

“When I met Dr. Aucar we immediately made a connection. My first duty station was in El Paso, Texas, and he practices in the area. Over winter break he’ll be in El Paso, and he invited me to join him. To be able to meet a mentor that you instantly click with, can have a successful relationship with and both benefit in different ways from the experience is a dream come true.”

Angel wants to be a neurosurgeon, a goal that comes with seven to eight years of residency. With that much preparation required, he strives to make his experiences count.

“My number one goal for job shadowing is to make a personal connection with the person I’m shadowing. Beyond that, it’s about making sure you understand what’s actually happening. A lot of times, especially with medical, the doctors aren’t teachers. You have to work to get answers from them. It’s easy to just stand and watch, but understanding why they’re doing it is my key to shadowing.”

Thomas AngelHelping Students Succeed

Since arriving at KU, Angel has taken advantage of the many opportunities provided to him, including joining the Student Alumni Leadership Board to add a voice for students like him. “I wanted to find a niche on campus for non-traditional students to be in leadership positions. I saw it as a place for me where my opinion matters and where I can help create and shape [Student Alumni Network] events.”

Angel draws from a completely different set of experiences compared to traditional students, but he wants those in his shoes to know that they belong on this campus.

“The KU community is completely different than how you think it would be from the outside looking in. I am involved in several different clubs and boards around campus and fit in just fine. I’m 12 years older than my average peer at this stage in my academic career and I learn things from them daily, and I hope that they learn from me just as well. Non-traditional students have life experiences and stories of their own that can positively impact this campus.”

–Ryan Camenzind

Stay tuned for more about Angel’s job-shadowing experience during winter break. For more information on how the Jayhawk Career Network can help you connect with KU alumni, visit kualumni.org/jayhawkcareernetwork.

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Flying Jayhawks explore the “living museum” of Galapagos Islands

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 in Campus News and News

The Galapagos Islands | Flying Jayhawks www.kualumni.org
A group of ten Jayhawks explored the Galapagos Islands in January through the Flying Jayhawks alumni travel program.

The Galapagos Islands were designated the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 and have been described as a “unique living museum and showcase of evolution.”

The archipelago, from which Charles Darwin conceived his theory of evolution by natural selection, is one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world.

After a day of touring in Quito, the group cruised through the archipelago. Some highlights of the eight-day trip included swimming with sea lions and snorkeling with tropical fish; exploring remote coralline beaches and secluded inlets; and visiting historic places such as the Charles Darwin Research Center and Cerro Brujo, one of the first sites visited by Darwin.

An optional extension of the trip allowed travelers to spend additional days touring Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

Marcia Anderson, n’60, shared two photos of the travelers with us. The first photo is of seven members of the group, all of whom are affiliated with the KU School of Medicine. The second photo includes the full group of Flying Jayhawks.

Flying Jayhawks- Galapagos Islands 2016
L-R: Jane Yourdon, c’74; Judy Frey, n’67, Kenn Goertz, m’75; Sallie Page-Goertz, c’75, n’75, g’81; Pheny Aldis, c’66; John Aldis, c’67, m’71; Marcia Anderson, n’60

Flying Jayhawks- Galapagos Islands 2016
L-R: Millie Foster, JoAnn Kemp, Jane Yourdon, Judy Frey, Kenn Goertz, Sallie Page-Goertz, Pheny Aldis, John Aldis, Bob Anderson, Marcia Anderson

For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, or to sign up to receive emails or brochures about future adventures, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

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