The Pre-Health Society at the University of Dallas was recently inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Preprofessional Honor Society. This process has been one long in the making and its realization serves as a credit to UD’s Pre-Health Society.
Mary Geddie, a senior biology and Spanish double-major and president of the Pre-Health Society, served as a liaison between AED and UD. She said: “This initiation adds a level of credibility and public affirmation as to the quality of UD’s pre-health students. It also serves as a way to help support those students seeking a pre-health career in a way that would help them explore different options, preparation methods and ultimately help them become the great health professionals that they are meant to be.”
AED is a national honor society, as well as a service organization, that has certain academic requirements that need to be met in order to attain membership. It serves as a point of contact to help students network with other health professionals and professionals in the field.
Dr. Drew Stenesen, assistant professor of biology and faculty director of the Pre-Health Society club, said: “[The AED] has a platform to showcase what we’ve been doing with our Pre-Health Society club on a national stage. UD is tucked away a little bit, and I think our students are exceptional. By joining this National Honor Society, it’s another platform [in which] students can shine.”
A great number of scholarships are available upon application. Each chapter is able to send a certain number of students’ applications for these scholarships, and once the club has really started, there is a service component as well, that helps facilitate student contact with the larger community.
Gracie Geddie, a biochemistry and Spanish double-major, said: “We want to be able to give [students] the most support possible. We want to increase their chances of getting into a good medical school or dental school or whatever they are pursuing. And having connections can be beneficial because it taps you into a network of other physicians and people who have actually gone through this process.”
On Saturday, March 4, a representative from the AED came to initiate the chapter at UD and to induct all new members, including seven UD students and Stenesen. Retired professor Dr. Frank Doe was inducted as an honorary member.
Stenesen said: “[Dr. Frank Doe] was at the university for a long time and almost five decades of pre-health success can be attributed to [him]. So to honor his contribution to the university and the pre-health program specifically, he’s the first member of our chapter. So that was another reason to do it to kind of find a way to honor his contribution.”
Qualifications for induction rely on academic performance. A GPA of 3.2 or higher is required in both cumulative and science GPA, which are signed off by the dean and the secretary. In addition, there’s a $75 fee per student.
The initiative to get inducted into the AED started almost two years ago with the leadership of the Pre-Health Society at that time. The current leadership is looking forward to the opportunities that this initiation will provide.
Speaking on the initiation, Dominic Lubrano, a junior biology major and treasurer of the Pre-Health Society, said: “I think it really helps solidify and make things official. I think this is great for not just the students but for the university in general because a little piece of UD gets connected to other universities and in a very unique way.”
The initiation also speaks to the broader mission of UD and the creation of a culture focused on all around academic excellence.
Luke Klein, a junior biology major, said: “UD is a liberal arts university and it prepares students to be lifelong learners. That’s especially important for students considering the healthcare field. I think that this [initiation] should hopefully solidify UD as a university that is capable of catering both to the arts, the histories, and the humanities, as well as to strong STEM courses and to prepare people for professional occupations.”
Becoming a new chapter of AED is an important step for the Pre-Health Society and the leadership is grateful to everyone involved in this long process.
Speaking on the significance of this initiation, Mary Geddie said: “I’m quite frankly very excited. [This initiation] helps legitimize the university and thus my own degree. But it also is nice to see each of the departments and all the hard working professors really be validated by an outside source for all the hard work that they do and for all the hard work that the students put into it. [They] have helped [us] join the national pre-health community.”