Cieslak Memorial Scholarship Makes Medical Mission Possible for UD Students
Five University of Dallas students traveled to Haiti this summer to bring medical
aid to some of that nation's most underprivileged citizens. P.J. Anderson '14, Christina
Davis '15, Aileen Johnson '13, John Kabangu '13 and Ben Klopfenstein '13 worked with
doctors and other students to treat sick and injured Haitians. The trip was made possible
by the Gary D. Cieslak Memorial Scholarship, which was founded by the class of 1980
in honor of Cieslak '80, a pediatric anesthesiologist who passed away in 2009.
Traveling into villages and towns, the students interviewed potential patients in
order to pinpoint those most in need of care. The students were then able to assist
doctors in performing minor medical procedures.
"It's very important for these students to get experience," said Frank Doe, associate
professor of biology and coordinating faculty member for the mission. "They won't
get accepted into medical school unless they have some idea of what a doctor does."
Hands-on experience can also inspire future doctors. "I was overwhelmingly convinced
that I wanted to become a physician after going to Haiti," said Klopfenstein.
Without the support of UD alumni and friends this rewarding experience would not have
been possible for these five students. Those interested in contributing to the legacy
of Gary Cieslak and providing other outstanding pre-med students with similar opportunities
can visit alumni.udallas.edu/cieslak.