Eight TAMIU Grads Head to Medical School
Posted: 6/5/14

Eight TAMIU Grads Off to
Medical School this Fall

Students who wish to become physicians often utilize their undergraduate years to prepare crucial academic fundamentals and participate in various programs that familiarize them with the medical profession.

For a record eight Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) graduates, their hard work has paid off as all were accepted to attend various medical schools and physician assistant programs this Fall.

Texas A&M International University graduates accepted to medical school and physician assistant programs for this Fall include left to right, front row: May Tumonong, Melissa Saucedo, Karen de la Garza, and Luz Rodríguez. Back row: Ricardo Pedraza, Armand

TAMIU Futures in Medicine
Texas A&M International University graduates accepted to medical school and
physician assistant programs for this Fall include left to right, front row: May Tumonong,
Melissa Saucedo, Karen de la Garza, and Luz Rodríguez. Back row: Ricardo Pedraza, Armando Elizondo, Alfredo Cepeda and Alvaro Sánchez.

The graduates, who earned their bachelor’s degrees in biology from TAMIU in May, were involved in pre-med and enrichment programs including the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP), Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP), Facilitated Admissions for South Texas Scholars (FASTS) and the Medical Careers Diversity Program (MCDP).

The graduates and the medical schools they will attend include Alfredo Cepeda, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)-Galveston; Karen de la Garza, UTMB-Galveston; Armando Elizondo, UTMB-Galveston; Ricardo Pedraza, University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center San Antonio; Luz Rodríguez, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; Alvaro Sánchez, UTMB-Galveston; Melissa Saucedo; Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; May Christine Tumonong, University of Texas (UT)-Pan American Physician Assistant Department.

Dr. Caroline Kellogg, TAMIU outgoing Pre-Med advisor, said the graduates’ acceptance to their respective programs is a testament to their years of determination and academic dedication.

“These students have worked very hard during their time at TAMIU and their hard work is reflected in their accomplishments,” Kellogg said, “This has been an outstanding year for TAMIU students being accepted to medical and PA schools. I know these students will continue to serve the community in the future as medical professionals.”

Elizondo, one of the graduates, said it is a tremendous honor to have gained acceptance to medical school.

“It has been my lifelong goal to become a doctor and help those in need who can’t help themselves, so it’s an incredible feeling to have finally reached my goal of acceptance after so many years of work,” he said.

Another graduate, Tumonong, said she hopes to utilize her physician assistant degree to give back to her community.

“I would like to offer my knowledge and service to the same people who have helped me achieve my goals since coming here to Texas,” she said.

Sánchez said TAMIU made his medical school acceptance possible.

“I give full credit to TAMIU for putting me in a position where I was able to meet and get to know professors whose letters of recommendation were instrumental in my acceptance to medical school,” he said.

Sánchez said he feels he benefitted from TAMIU’s  smaller campus size.

“The professors are more able and willing to interact with the students face to face,” he said, “Relationships become closer between mentor and mentee and this becomes incredibly important when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation.”

Pedraza said he is excited he has been accepted to medical school and looking forward to starting this Fall.

“Becoming a medical doctor has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school,” he said, “For the past 8 years, I have put a tremendous amount of time and effort in order to achieve this goal. Now that I have been accepted, I feel that all of my sacrifices and dedications have finally paid off.”

He said that in the future he would like to come back to Laredo and serve his community.

“While I’m not 100 percent sure what I want to specialize in, I know for a fact that eventually, I want to come back to Laredo, my hometown, and help make a difference in the lives of patients,” Pedraza said, “In particular, I am pursuing a dual medical/master’s in public health degree (MD/MPH) so that I can have a good background on the health of the community here, no matter what field of medicine I specialize in.”

For more information about TAMIU’s pre-med program, please contact Dr. Kameron Jorgensen, assistant professor of chemistry, at 326.2568, e-mail kameron.jorgensen@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 307.

Summer University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100