Veronica Remmert

Dell Medical School
2016 Scholar

My family and I are so thankful for the support shown to both my sister and me through the scholarship. I am so grateful for the financial, professional, and academic support that I have received through the scholarship. Without the generous contributions of the donors, I would not have been able to explore my passions, focus on my studies, and attend medical school. Thank you for investing in me and my dreams, your support and generosity will not be forgotten.

What does the St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship mean to you?

This scholarship has allowed me to focus on school and my interests related to medicine instead of being solely focused on paying for school. This scholarship is an extremely powerful expression of the support of others and has been an inspiration to remain steadfast in my desire to be a physician. I have never received so much support like I have from this scholarship and the support, both financial and professional, has been a true blessing and motivator to pursue my dream of becoming a physician.

What are your ultimate career goals and how is the scholarship helping you achieve them?

I am so thankful and honored to be matriculating into Dell Medical School starting in July to become a physician. I hope to continue being active in Global Health research in Mexico, while also serving the Central Texas community that I grew up in. I am unsure about the specific specialty right now, but I hope to integrate global health and community health into my future practice as a physician. This scholarship has allowed me to pursue research in Mexico, intern at the Foundation, and get involved in organizations at UT because I was able to focus on things that I am passionate about through the financial support. Without the generous scholarship, I would not have had the time to be able to focus on personal growth and discovery, which in turn has allowed me to realize that I want to be a physician that is not only focused on treatment, but true compassionate care rooted in addressing social determinants of health.

What is the coolest experience you have had in college so far?

My team and I were part of the University of Texas Inaugural President’s Award for Global Learning. We were able to propose, create, and implement a comprehensive needs assessment of low-income communities in Puebla, Mexico. We lived in Mexico for ten weeks and were able to survey 242 houses, implement six focus groups, and five intensive housing case studies. It was an amazing experience to be so welcomed into the communities, to hear the experiences of the community members, and to gain such a deep understanding of the inherent dignity in all. I worked alongside three faculty, three other undergraduates, and one graduate student, and it was such a transformative experience that changed my worldview, took me out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to explore new passions. It was also so cool to live in Mexico and explore Puebla and Mexico City.

What are some of the obstacles you have had to overcome in the past and how has the Kocurek Scholarship helped?

The transition to university was difficult. It was hard to navigate the new classes and environment. However, I was able to take advantage of the academic and professional support, which really helped me succeed and become comfortable in college. I am so thankful that I had the support and guidance to lean on during my transition into college.

Looking back, what is one piece of advice you would give to yourself freshman year?

There will be trials, but the experiences, passions, and friendships gained will make all the hard work worth it. Also, do not be afraid to explore interests, pursue internships and research opportunities, and go to talks that challenge and excite you. This is the time to learn and grow, both from the experiences of peers and the ideas from professors.

What is your relationship with your mentor like?

My mentor is Fritz Marthol, who is a nurse and the ICU Director of St. David’s Hospital Downtown. He has always been such an amazing mentor and supporter, giving me advice about specialties, medical school, and extracurriculars. We usually meet once a semester and we text to keep each other updated. He has been such a great mentor and supporter, always cheering for me and giving me amazing advice. I am so thankful to have been matched with him through the scholarship.

What has been your favorite part of being a Kocurek Scholar?

Being connected to my mentor, other students, and the St. David’s family has been such an amazing part of being a scholar. My mentor, Fritz Marthol, has given me such great advice and helped me throughout college through his support and mentorship. I have also been able to connect with other scholars, one of which has become one of my closest friends in college. It has also been great to be connected to the St. David’s family, whether it was through my internship with the community investments team at the Foundation or through volunteering at the St. David’s Hospital. It has been such a powerful experience professionally and personally to be connected to St. David’s and the powerful work they do in Austin.

What is your favorite SDNK scholar event?

I love the Winter Event at Alamo Draft House! It is so much fun to get dressed up in tacky Christmas attire and watch a movie with my friends. It is such a great time to unwind after finals. My sister, Gloria, and friend, Kathleen, are both scholars, so we love going together and watching a new movie!

What would your college experience be like had you not received the SDNK Scholarship?

Without the scholarship, college without a doubt would have been much harder. From the support I have gained, the experiences that have been made possible, and the guidance provided, I have grown personally and professionally. The support has allowed me to have time following my passions, which will allow me to become a more compassionate and caring healthcare provider in the future.