San Jacinto College holds its own among universities at summer program

Five San Jacinto College South professors recently participated in the 2009 Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) at the University of Texas Dental Branch and Medical School in Houston, the highest-rated of 12 program sites across the nation.
Dr. J.P. Anderson, Dr. Joyce Miller, Dr. Mary Wisgirda, Dr. Frank Richardson and Dr. Walter Thompson each taught core math and science curriculum courses to college freshmen and sophomores during the six-week program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“We are the only community college that participates in SMDEP, and our site has received the highest ratings of all,” said Martha Robertson, San Jacinto College faculty coordinator and SMDEP curriculum coordinator. Other SMDEP program sites around the country include Columbia University, Yale University and the University of California-Los Angeles.
Robertson said 80 students are admitted to the SMDEP each year. Houston participants live in dorms at Rice University during the duration of the program and participate in such enrichment activities as medical and dental simulations, shadowing doctors and dentists, and how to manage money.
The SMDEP is a “gem” that allows professors to mentor students pursuing careers in medicine or dentistry, according to Dr. Laurel Williamson, vice chancellor of instructional programs and services at San Jacinto College.
“I was impressed with the program and with our faculty’s participation in it,” Williamson said. “It was clear from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation site team that they were impressed as well. It’s great to see this confirmation of what we all know: San Jacinto College is a great college, doing exceptional work in our community.”
Congratulations to these five folks, and thank you for representing San Jacinto College!