TMC community gathers for student march for peace in Ukraine

By Michelle Ray, Office of Public Affairs

Ukraine March for Peace

Students gather in the Texas Medical Center to march in support of promoting peace between Russia and Ukraine. (Photos by Dwight Andrews/Office of Communications)

Ukraine March for Peace

On March 22, more than 30 UTHealth Houston students and TMC community members gathered to march in support of promoting peace between Russia and Ukraine.

Dong Ho Shin, student at MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and vice president of the school’s International Student Association (ISA), was the first to propose the idea of the peaceful march.

“I had a conversation with a friend who was heartbroken by the current situation, but didn’t exactly know how to help,” Shin said. “I believe this peaceful march can spread love and peace, and raise awareness for the much-needed humanitarian support, which everyone is able to partake.”

In attendance of the march was also Jovanka Gencel-Augusto, current PhD student at MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School and ISA president.

“I’m not Ukrainian or Russian, but as an international student I can relate to what it’s like being far away from your family and culture. You’re not there to help them being so far away; this war is a very complex situation,” Gencel-Augusto said.

“Not only does this affect our international students’ mental health, academic performance and work, but also their financial well-being. Any of us could be in this type of situation, and the goal of the march is to communicate that we are in solidarity with our Ukrainian and Russian peers, that we advocate for peace and the preservation of human lives, and to help those who are fleeing the country and looking for other opportunities.”

Those who participated in the March for Humanity demonstrated their wish for peace in Ukraine.

“One of the things that I love about our students is that historically they have shown their support and spoken out about both national and international events that affect our community,” said LaTanya Love, MD, executive vice president of Student Affairs and Diversity at UTHealth Houston and dean of education ad interim at McGovern Medical School.

“At a time where our world continues to change rapidly, our students’ voices help us to learn, listen, and do more to best teach and mentor the next generation of health care providers. We want to always remind our students that we are here to support them,” Love said.