July 17, 2015
A family—that’s how Esther Bell describes the student body at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC). This semester, Ronald Testa, PhD, medical sciences dean, presented Bell with the Student Engagement Award in recognition of her dedication and contribution to the “family-like” campus community and the positive impact she has had on the collaborative culture.
Bell’s introduction to the close-knit community came during a Faculty Advisor Meet-and-Greet organized by Vivian Braciale, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology. At this event, Bell connected with other students who matriculated into AUC after completing the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP), a 15-week medical school preparatory program offered to students who have been granted conditional acceptance to AUC.
"I knew I wanted to become one of those students; successful, hardworking, but mainly, selfless in providing help to other students,” recalls Bell. “Since then, I’ve tried to make myself available to assist fellow classmates as we navigate the shared journey to becoming physicians."
Over the course of her medical sciences semesters, Bell held true to this goal by wholeheartedly committing to several student-centered roles on campus. She has served as peer-to-peer tutor, class tutor, president of the Student Government Association, and vice president of the Latino Medical Student Association.
“Esther’s effectiveness and dedication as a leader clearly demonstrates her allegiance to AUC,” said Golden Jackson, PhD, Assistant Dean for Service-Learning and Community Affairs. “She truly understands the spirit and practice of engagement and collaboration.”
Prior to enrolling at AUC, Esther Bell, of Miami, Florida, earned a gradaute degree in health education from the University of Florida.
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