Explore Opportunities in Health Sciences and Medicine at UC Merced Career Day

MERCED, CA. — Are you interested in pursuing a career as a physician, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, veterinarian or lab technician? Have you considered the impact you could have as a scientist whose research contributes to new treatment for cancer, asthma or heart disease?

"Exploring Careers in Health Sciences and Medicine," a career fair to be presented on Friday, September 17, will promote awareness of the diverse array of professions in the health fields, requirements for educational success and pathways to a four-year university degree. Community college students, high school students and members of the general public are invited to experience informational workshops, inspirational speakers, networking opportunities, and interactive booths staffed by medical institutions, biotech firms and the health care industry during this special outreach event.

Hosted by UC Merced, the career fair is organized in partnership with Merced College, Modesto Junior College and San Joaquin Delta College, and will take place at UC Merced's offices at 4225 North Hospital Road in Atwater.

"We are very excited to host UC Merced's first health sciences career day," says UC Merced's Dean of Natural Sciences Maria Pallavicini, who will be among 20 UC Merced faculty members expected to participate in the event. " 'Exploring Careers in Health Sciences and Medicine' is an important step toward increasing numbers of individuals in health care and health sciences, which is a critical need for the San Joaquin Valley."

More than 500 high school students from around the Valley have already registered to participate in the morning session, which is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is already full. Included among the morning's activities is a special presentation by Fresno native Katherine A. Flores, M.D. A faculty member with the UC San Francisco-Fresno Medical Education Program, Flores also serves as project director for the California Health Education Training Center and the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research.

Scheduled from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the afternoon session is oriented toward community college students. High school students who were unable to attend the morning session and members of the general public interested in pursuing a career in the health sciences or medicine are encouraged to register for the afternoon session as well. Highlights of the afternoon program include a presentation from David Núñez, M.D., M.P.H., who is chief of the California Department of Health Services State Asthma Program and assistant clinical professor at UC San Francisco.

Advanced registration for "Exploring Careers in Health Sciences and Medicine" is available online at naturalsciences.ucmerced.edu. The fee to register in advance is $8. For on-site registration, the fee is $10.

The career fair is made possible by a $65,000 grant from Area Health Education Centers to support UC Merced's science and health sciences outreach and education. Other major sponsors include Genentech, Doctors Medical Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross, Advancement Via Individual Determination, the Merced Sun-Star and the Modesto Bee.

For additional information, please call the UC Merced School of Natural Sciences at (209) 724-4309 or e-mail Linda Zubke at lzubke@ucmerced.eduor Phung Colvin at pcolvin@ucmerced.edu.

UC Merced, the 10th campus of the UC system and the first major research university to be built in the United States during the 21st century, is scheduled to open in fall 2005 to serve 1,000 students. Planned ultimately to grow to a student population of 25,000, the university has a special mission to serve the educational needs of San Joaquin Valley residents. UC Merced already is serving area students through a concurrent admissions program with three Valley community colleges and through UC summer session courses at UC Merced centers in Fresno, Bakersfield and Atwater. A limited number of graduate students are currently enrolled at the campus, having begun their studies on Aug. 30, 2004.

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