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DEI Scholarship Program Gives Students an Opportunity to Look into Options

A student’s college years are a time of exploring many possibilities for the future, including career options they might not have known were previously available. The Houston Methodist Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion recognized that a segment of the university population might not be able to access some of these opportunities, and with that thought in mind, the DEI Scholarship program was born in 2022.
The program, says Nazia Imrose, Program Manager, DEI, is about giving underserved students an opportunity to see what options are available in health care. “It’s about making them aware that there are different paths if they don’t get into medical or nursing school. Through this program, they can become aware of other ways to be involved,” Imrose said. “Maybe they’ll realize they want to be involved in health care administration or on the corporate side.”
Nazia Imrose, Program Manager, DEI
The students come to Houston Methodist as part of a 10-week internship program and are typically rising juniors and seniors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). There is an application process and a panel interview. This year, there are 11 interns in the program. “A GPA only speaks so much about a person. It doesn’t tell you about work ethic or other details that might help someone land a job,” Imrose said.
“I’m a graduate of an HBCU, and I know there is so much talent in those students, many of whom come from underserved communities, but they are oftentimes ignored. Having the opportunity to create it and have Nazia run it is personal for me. I believe there is so much untapped potential in these students, and Houston Methodist owes it to them to provide this opportunity,” said Arianne Dowdell, Vice President, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. The interns are typically aspiring healthcare administrators, physicians or nurses, and are placed in various areas of the hospital. The Department of Otolaryngology landed one such intern, Jordan Nelson, who spent his summer under the tutelage of Anthony Brissett, MD. Nelson will begin his second year at Lamar University in Beaumont in the fall and aspires to be a physician. “I came in wanting to be an Interventional Radiologist, but Dr. Brissett told me I might change my mind after this internship,” Nelson said.
A GPA only speaks so much about a person. It doesn’t tell you about work ethic or other details that might help someone land a job.
Nazia Imrose
Program Manager, DEI
Brissett was correct; Nelson was able to shadow not only Facial Plastics but also a variety of other specialties. Through Brissett, Nelson gained knowledge and exposure, opening his mind up to the vast number of departments within medicine. Among the specialties, Nelson observed many physicians actively exemplifying ICARE values. With Brissett, Nelson worked on not only establishing a pathway to medicine, but also developing sustainable qualities as an aspiring physician in the future.
“Having a mentor/mentee relationship allowed me to be guided, taught and developed professionally throughout this program,” Nelson says. For students thinking about applying for a DEI Scholarship, Nelson says “go for it.” “The program has a lot to offer. It’s an opportunity to network, form meaningful connections, and establish or enhance the qualities you might already possess. I’m very thankful and appreciative for this opportunity.”