Gayla Ferguson, William Nutting, and Victor Trejo, were selected as Gates Millennium Scholars. These students were successful in high school and maintained their commitment to excellence into graduate school at the Health Science Center.
Ferguson, a student in the School of Public Health, was valedictorian at her high school and graduated from Baylor University prior to enrolling at the Health Science Center in the fall of 2009. Nutting graduated from the Health Science Center in December 2009 with a Master of Medical Sciences and will start medical school this fall at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. Trejo began the PhD program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences last fall, majoring in neurobiology of aging.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS), established in 1999, was founded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential. Graduate recipients must attain a high school cumulative GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate leadership though past community service, extracurricular or other activities, and continue their studies in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or sciences.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) administers the GMS program. To reach, coordinate and support the constituent groups, UNCF partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.
The GMS program offers the scholars with Academic Empowerment (ACE) services to encourage academic excellence; mentoring services for academic and personal development; and an online resource center that provides internship, fellowship and scholarship information. The program has provided more than $500 million in scholarships to more than 13,000 students representing 50 states and five countries.
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