Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 50
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favorite student of many faculty members in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Smart
and outgoing, the Scientist had won a prestigious fellowship in 2004 but had discovered he had
testicular cancer during the fellowship. He spent much of fall 2004 battling cancer, and the first
time I saw him, he was thin and bald. A faculty member pointed the Scientist out to me as he
walked out of a meeting where students from the health science center were meeting with
potential students from a Hispanic Serving Institution visiting the campus that day. The Scientist
spoke but left shortly afterward. Later, I discovered he had been ill that day, but he came to the
meeting anyway. A faculty member told me the Scientist's whole story, at least his whole story
at that time, later that same day.
After that initial meeting, the Scientist and I talked on the telephone, and I scheduled a
face-to-face interview with him. When he arrived in my office, he was a very different man than
he had been when I saw him in fall 2004. He had a full head of dark, curly hair and had gained
some weight. He looked decidedly healthier and happier than when I initially saw him. We had
scheduled the meeting to talk about his recent award from the Graduate School of Biomedical
Sciences and to discuss his life for a feature story I was writing about him. In the hour he was in
my office, we discussed his early education, his family, his wife, his cancer, and what his plans
for the future were. He e-mailed me a few days later, saying our conversation had been the first
time he had discussed his battle with cancer, and he appreciated the opportunity I had given him
to deal with some of the issues he had not been able to deal with thus far. A few months later, I
received an e-mail from the Scientist about the defense of his dissertation. He invited me to
attend, and I did. I talked to him a few minutes before the defense and asked if he was nervous. I
talked to his mentor, other faculty members who were at the defense, his wife, his mother, his
father, and some of the room full of other graduate students who were in attendance. A few
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Colley, Kay Lynne. Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center., dissertation, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3687/m1/60/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .