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Students Receive Top Honors in HOSA

Senior psychology major, Jisha Jose, still gets nervous before every medical terminology test despite the fact that she has competed in HOSA competitions for more than seven years. This June, she, along with 14 other University of St. Thomas students and advisor Dr. Elmer Ledesma, assistant professor of chemistry, traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in Health Occupation Students of America’s 36th annual National Leadership Conference. St. Thomas students came away with top honors.

As president of the HOSA club on campus, Jose worked to organize fundraisers and book all of the travel accommodations for the conference. Her efforts were not in vain. Brandon Marcella placed first in Extemporaneous Speaking; Marianne Tran and Jennifer Hoang placed second in Career Health Display; Brandon Rollins and Devi Hari placed second in Health Education, and Sydnee Spruiel placed third in Clinical Specialty.

HOSA is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE. HOSA’s mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.

“It is a great club and I want people to know that the medical field is huge,” Jose said. “HOSA gives you a broad view of it.” 

The road to compete nationally was hard fought. Students had to qualify in both regional and statewide competitions before they could advance to the national conference. As a result, students spent long hours preparing for competition.

Sophomore biology major Marianne Tran and her partner, Jennifer Hoang, sophomore biology major,  spent nearly six hours assembling the poster board that helped them take home the silver medal in Health Career Displays. The assembly time, however, did not factor in the time spent researching the profession they chose  - emergency physician - or time spent shadowing an emergency physician, which added up to several weeks of preparation.

“Coming into this competition really taught me how to present and how to speak to different people,” Tran said. “HOSA provides an opportunity to present yourself and meet other people who are trying to go into the same field.”

Members of St. Thomas’ HOSA chapter are not content to rest on their past success; they are seeking new members committed to the advancement of the club and pursuing HOSA opportunities. They are also setting their sights on Orlando, Fla., the site of the next national conference.

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