Mary Ann Lunsford Summer Externship for Pre-Medical Students

Program Description:
The Externship provides an in-depth exposure to all aspects of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular disease as enumerated in the attached schedule. Two six week periods with two positions each are offered (total of 4 students/ summer) and a $1000 stipend is provided to each student after the externship term. The Externship is sponsored by the Division of Cardiology and the Mary Ann Lunsford Endowment Fund. The application deadline for the externship is April 1st.

Program Purpose:
The purpose of the Externship is to provide qualified students interested in pursuing a career medicine, a broad introduction to the Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth with a focus on cardiovascular medicine.

Program Pre-Requisites:
1. A junior in college (completing the third year)
2. Seriously interested in pursuing a career in medicine
3. Possesses a 3.6 GPA or higher
4. Interested in actively participating in an intense learning experience at the cutting edge of
Cardiovascular Medicine

Course Director:

Richard W. Smalling, MD PhD
James D. Woods Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine

Course Coordinator:

Araceli Rosas, Executive Assistant
Araceli.Rosas@uth.tmc.edu (713)500-6559

Application Information and Deadline:

The application deadline for the summer externship is April 1st.
Apply Now


The Mary Ann Lunsford Cardiology Summer Externs 2021

Sarah Beck

Sarah Beck, May 24th–July 2nd
Texas A&M University, Major: Biomedical Engineering

Sarah Beck is enrolled in the Texas A&M University Engineering Honors Program. She designs new medical devices and was a volunteer teaching assistant in Chemistry. She has shadowed several surgical programs to sharpen her medical skills. In addition to great academics, Sarah volunteers at local Boys and Girls club with her sorority.

Holden Baird

Holden Baird, May 24th–July 2nd
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Nutrition

Holden participated in Baylor’s Medicine of Summer Administrative Internship where he worked directly with Dr. Nilson Salas, Director of Surgical Simulation Lab and interfaced with multiple surgical specialties helping prepare and teach skills to new fellows and residents which led to surgical skills board formed students–Thoracic Surgery Bootcamp. He is captain of the swim team and water polo team. Holden is a member of his fraternity’s scholarship committee supporting members in need. In addition, he is an Eagle Scout and has worked on a project benefiting combat veterans.

Ken Wu

Ken Wu, July 6th–August 13th
University of California –San Diego, Major: Human Biology

Ken published literature review on a COVID testing update. He has performed CABG, aortic valve replacement and other surgeries on porcine hearts at Stanford School of Medicine Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Summer Internship. He volunteers at UCSD Health and UCSD Nutrition Kitchen Project and is currently producing videos on healthy dietary patterns for celiac disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Deborah Babalola

Deborah Babalola, July 6th–August 13th
University of Pennsylvania, Major: Biology

Deborah has worked with Division of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery at Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. She worked during the pandemic to collect data and submitted and presented an abstract as the first author at the 2020 Trauma Quality Improvement Program Scientific Meeting.

Gabriela Benitez

Gabriela Benitez, July 6th–August 13th
Texas A&M University, Major: Biomedical Science

Gaby has been on the Dean’s Honor Roll for the past 2 years and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is also a leader of the Starlight Aggies Constellation Group and a member of the Aggie Gems Women’s Organization. Gaby has volunteered at the Woodlands Texas Children’s Hospital, Head Start College Station ISD, Adopt-A-Street, Kyle Field Clean Up, The Big Event, Little Monsters 5K among many other volunteer activities.


The Mary Ann Lunsford Cardiology Summer Externs 2019

Robert Adkins

Robert “Trey” Adkins, May 20th – June 28th
Texas A&M University, Major: Biology

Robert is part of the Texas A&M University Honors and Texas A&M Biology Honors. He is Vice-President of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honors Society and an Undergraduate Research Scholar. He is an undergraduate researcher at the Texas A&M Spinal Cord Initiative. is recent poster presentation was on Silencing nociceptors using DREADDs to improve functional outcomes after spinal cord injury. Robert volunteers at the College Station Medical Center, The Big Event, where they help the elderly in the community with their yards and houses, and the Boys and Girls Club of Bryan.

An Khong

An Khong, May 20th – June 28th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Biochemistry

An is a part of the University Leadership Network and Vice-President of the Global Surgery Student Alliance at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a teaching assistant in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences and also an undergraduate research lab assistant in Molecular Biosciences working on a Bioactive Molecule Stream. An is the recipient of the TIP Scholar Award for Academic Achievement. Among his many volunteer activities, he participates in the UT Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium, Judges for Texas History and Longhorn run setup.

Jacqueline Smart

Jacqueline Smart, July 1st – August 8th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Neuroscience

Jacqueline is a member of Kappa Rho Pre-Medical Honor Society and Alpha Phi Sorority – Omega Chapter. She is the recipient of University Honors, the Distinguished College Scholar and the Alpha Phi House Board Scholarship. Jacqueline is also a teaching assistant in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, and a Charting Assistant at Texas Oculoplastic Consultants (TOC) Eye and Face. She volunteers as a mentor for Big Brothers Big sisters of Central Iowa and a Youth Advocate on the Mayor’s Youth Council.

Afsana Islam

Afsana Islam, July 1st – August 8th
Lamar University, Major: Biology

Afsana is part of the Lamar University Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Lamar University Honors Student Association and the President of the Lamar University American Medical Student Association among many other organizations. She is also the recipient of the Lamar University Mirabeau Scholarship and has been named to the President’s and Dean’s list for several semesters. Afsana is also working on a couple of research projects: Rhomboid Gene Silencing Using Synthetic siRNAs in Trichimonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus and Analyzing the incidence rates of Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and HIV in Southeast Texas. Among her many volunteering activities, she has also volunteered with Harvey recovery.


The Mary Ann Lunsford Cardiology Summer Externs 2018

Lauren McCormack

Lauren McCormack, May 22nd – June 29th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Biology

Lauren is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honors Society and Kappa Delta Sorority Community Service Officer. She worked as a research intern during the summer of 2017 at the Children’s Research Triangle working with data and datasets. During the summer of 2016, she was a clinical student observer at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Illinois interacting with patients and their families. She also volunteers with UT Services for Students with Disabilities.

Danny Abdullah

Danny Abdullah, May 22nd – June 29th
Lamar University, Major: Chemistry

Danny is a member of the Honors Student Association, Muslim Student Association, American Medical Student Association, Lamar University Pre-Medical Student Association, Cardinal Cleanup Crew and the Lions Club. In addition, he has volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital, was a Harvey Hero and Altus Hospice Care – Beaumont Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Sam Slusky

Sam Slusky, July 2nd – August 10th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Psychology, Plan II

Sam is Coordinator of Peer Led Undergraduate Study (PLUS). He volunteers at Austin Pets Alive animal shelter, works as a Medical Assistant at Camp Young Judea and has served as Minor Board Chair of the Texas Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.

Andrew Horvit

Andrew Horvit, July 2nd – August 10th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Biomedical Engineer

Andrew is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta and elected President for Alpha Eta Mu Beta. He is a Learning Assistant for a Biomedical Engineering Circuit Theory Course and is part of the Biomedical Outreach and Leadership Team. He also plays on the Longhorn Pep Band and Engineering Chamber Orchestra.


The Mary Ann Lunsford Cardiology Summer Externs 2017

Delfina Bur

Delfina Bur, May 22rd – June 30th
University of Virginia, Major: Neuroscience and Psychology

Delfina is a Distinguished Major in Neuroscience and has been named to the Dean’s List.  She is the Program Director of the Student Interpreter’s Service Initiative Unit of the Madison House and is a Cyracom Certified Medical Spanish Interpreter.  She is a member of Delta Delta Delta and the Latino Medical Student Alliance.  She is part of “Towards A Better Latin America”, which raises funds for countries in Central America that are in dire condition, and volunteers at Loaves and Fishes Pantry.  She has done a significant amount of research working in several labs at the University of Virginia and was selected to present an abstract at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Hunter Bechtold

Hunter Bechtold, May 22rd – June 30th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: Biochemistry/ History

Hunter is the recipient of the College of Natural Sciences Book Award, he is a Distinguished College Scholar for the College of Natural Sciences, a Distinguished College Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts, Ampla cum Laude – College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Honor List, and the University Honors List.  He is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta – Premedical Honor Society and Phi Alpha Theta – History Honor Society. He volunteers as a Program Director for Mt. Nebo Volunteer Tutoring Program tutoring underserved children.  He is also Interning as a Teaching Assistant for Biochemistry.

Alex Pham

Alex Pham, July 5th – August 11th
University of Houston – Main Campus, Major: Honors Biomedical Sciences

Alex is the recipient of the Tier One Scholarship and Honors College Scholarship, and has been named to the NSM Dean’s list at the University of Houston.  He conducts research at the UH Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling (CNRCS) and was awarded the Audience Favorite Poster Award on UH Undergraduate Research Day 2015. He is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Texas Delta Chapter – Premedical Honor Society and serves on the HBS Medical School Interactions Committee.  He volunteers for the Sakya Care Foundation – Vietnam Medical Brigade, as well as Texas Children’s Hospital. In addition, he participates in community outreach projects to provide support for refugees through Voices of UH.

Christian Caranto

Christian A. Caranto, July 5th – August 11th
University of Texas at Austin, Major: BSA Biochemistry/ McCombs Business Certificate

Christian is a University Honors Recipient and has been selected to participate in the Freshman Research Initiative.  She is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta – Premedical Honor Society and has organized several community events for the organization.  She volunteers with 2 Elementary Schools in the area by organizing events, teaching the students in chemistry, biology and earth science and reading to students.  She has also participated in MD Anderson Programs as a Research Trainee.