Dr. Dana McDowelle has been selected the second director of the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, effective Oct. 5. McDowelle succeeds Pat Caver, who retired after 35 years of service at UTHealth Medical School.
McDowelle comes to UTHealth from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she served as assistant dean for diversity and student professional development at the School of Medicine.
A graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, McDowelle received her master’s of science degree, summa cum laude, from Tuskegee University and her Ph.D. in environmental toxicology and food science from Michigan State University.
McDowelle said her goals for the office are to focus on collaboration and preparing students to become leaders.
“I want us to rival national models of excellence in administering services for admissions and student affairs at a medical school – I want to equal or surpass the gold standard,” she said.
“I really want to look at collaborating inter-professionally,” McDowelle added. “The other UTHealth schools provide unique backdrop for our students to hone their skills as leaders and learn to lead in interdisciplinary environments and inter-professional collaboration. I would like to foster the development of the types of programs that can prepare our students to both lead and become topflight physicians.”
Providing support in the time of a curriculum shift, is also a top priority for McDowelle.
“With a new curriculum, there will always be a heightened level of student concern. We want to be able to continue to provide a solid support system, a robust culture of support so that our students know even though we are in a time of change, our top priority will be quality education, success, preparedness, and their well-being. That’s why we are here,” she said.