A graduate from the UConn School of Medicine class of 1991 has established an endowed scholarship for graduate students.
Dr. Peter Lopez, now an orthopaedic surgeon in Tampa, was back on campus to deliver the keynote address at the July 22 closing ceremony for three Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative programs.
The HPPI programs come under the UConn Health Center’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP), designed to raise awareness and proficiency in science among Connecticut students from diverse backgrounds, provide them a mentoring and support system, and encourage them to pursue health professional careers. HCOP’s director, Dr. Marja Hurley, mentored Lopez when he was a UConn medical student.
“It’s important to give back, to throw the rope back over the wall,” Lopez says. “Because without that rope, I wouldn’t have gotten over that wall.”
Lopez’s gift of $25,000 established the Sharon and Peter Lopez Endowed Scholarship, a merit- and need-based scholarship with priority consideration given to students from underrepresented populations.
“Dr. Lopez has been very supportive,” Hurley says. “This was his idea. He contacted the Foundation wanting to support HCOP.”
“Dr. Hurley’s programs are important because they allow the university to obtain its mission with diversity, and with diversity is strength,” Lopez says.
Following Lopez’s remarks at the HPPI commencement, 40 students accepted certificates of completion:
- Five from the College Enrichment Program
- 29 from the Medical/Dental Preparatory Track One Program
- Six from the Clinical Summer Research Fellowship Program
More information about the Health Career Opportunity Programs is available at http://hcop.uchc.edu.