Two years ago, David Saenz had a life-changing decision to make – stay in Chicago, where he’d lived all his life, or move to Coral Gables, Fla. to become university registrar for American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. The best piece of advice Saenz received while he was contemplating this decision was, “go far to go further,” and it came from an unlikely source.

Going Far to Go Further 

“This was actually a billboard I saw on the expressway while sitting in traffic,” said Saenz. “Coral Gables is definitely far from Chicago, but it meant more than that. To me, it meant stretch yourself, get out of your comfort zone, get out there and explore, take the leap.” That piece of advice has stuck with Saenz. “I feel like I’ve made the best decision because I work with colleagues and students who are also genuinely invested in ‘going far to go further.’”
As university registrar, Saenz wears many hats. In addition to class registration, on campus check-in procedures, maintaining compliance with policies, practices and goals related to enrollment and fielding daily questions from students, Saenz also counts communications and coaching among his daily activities.

Supporting Student Success 

“My colleagues play a key part in my love for working for AUC,” said Saenz. “We work for each other as a cohesive unit, communicate daily on best practices and opportunities, and as a result, we can utilize this collaboration for the betterment of our students and alumni.”

One such collaboration involved helping a student who was struggling on the preliminary USMLE exams – the exam all medical school graduates must pass to get their license to practice medicine. Saenz and a colleague worked with AUC’s clinical deans to present the student with options on test preparation and to bridge some of the knowledge gaps that were causing the student to struggle. The student also attended a program that specializes in extensive preparation for the USMLE exam. Saenz proudly reports the student passed the USMLE and matched for a residency that will start in July.
Saenz cites these collaborations with colleagues and students as a driving force that makes each day a new experience. Whether it’s clearing a student for graduation or mentoring a colleague on professional development… knowing that what I do today has the opportunity to change a life keeps me motivated.

Tiara Brewster

Posted June 23, 2015 03:43 PM

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