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Health Center Today, July 20, 2010

With HCOP Scholarships, Saturday Academy Grads Matriculating at UConn

By Chris DeFrancesco

Photo of Kristen Springer, Faith Crittenden, Somaly Chhean, Granville Wrensford, Gian Grant, Javar Stephenson, and Dr. Marja Hurley

Five graduates from the Aetna HPPI Saturday Academy received scholarships to pursue undergraduate studies at UConn: (seated, from left) Kristen Springer, Faith Crittenden, Somaly Chhean, (standing, from left) HCOP Associate Director Granville Wrensford, Gian Grant, Javar Stephenson, and Dr. Marja Hurley, HCOP director.

Photo by Janine Gelineau

Five of the 25 high school students who just completed the Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative Saturday Academy received scholarships from the Health Center’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP) and will start their undergraduate careers this fall at UConn.

Friends of the Department of Health Career Opportunity Programs-Boake L. Plessy, Ph.D., Scholarship

  • Gian Grant
  • Kristen Springer

John and Valerie Rowe Scholarship

  • Somaly Chhean
  • Faith Crittenden
  • Javar Stephenson

The Saturday Academy is one of several programs available through HCOP, described by its director, Dr. Marja Hurley, as a pipeline for disadvantaged or underrepresented students pursuing careers in health professions. The students meet on Saturdays during the school year and full-time for six weeks during the summer for instruction on math, science, language arts, and standardized testing preparation. Ten other students from this year’s class also are matriculating at UConn this fall.

Associate Director Granville Wrensford says he’s found the students in the program to be more motivated, organized and focused. "And I think it broadens their horizons, too. They’re talking about a lot more possibilities in terms of what they would like to do, as opposed to having a narrow focus."