Scholarship is one of UTMB's largest non-endowed awards

 GALVESTON, Texas - Gabriel Mansouraty, a first-year medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, has been awarded the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Scholarship, one of the university's largest non-endowed scholarships. Mansouraty was among 305 students recognized for earning scholarships during an Oct. 27 UTMB School of Medicine event in which those who established the accolades met the students benefiting from their generosity.

The Hamman Scholarship, one of two created at UTMB by the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, will cover Mansouraty's tuition, fees, textbooks, and room and board for the entire four years of his medical education. Second-year medical student Monica Guzman of Laredo received the other scholarship last year.

Mansouraty said he is tremendously grateful to the Hamman Foundation for the scholarship. "I'm humbled by the generosity of the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation," the El Paso native said. "I'm also honored to know that the foundation's trustees think so highly of my aspirations to become a physician. This scholarship has been a blessing for my family and me and has given me incredible confidence to succeed at UTMB."

The Hamman Foundation created the scholarships to reward outstanding UTMB medical students from disadvantaged communities across the state. In doing so, the foundation intends not only to develop a health care work force that mirrors Texas' diverse population but also to cultivate more doctors who are passionate about working in medically underserved areas. Of the state's public medical schools, UTMB has the most diverse medical student body, with underrepresented students accounting for 28 percent of the university's Class of 2011.

Mansouraty graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a bachelor's degree in microbiology and intends to return to El Paso to enter into a primary care practice after completing his medical training. "By becoming a physician and providing the best quality care for all who walk through my door, no matter their race, ethnicity or financial background, I can be a part of seeing health care continue to grow and become more accessible for all," he said.

Mansouraty earned numerous honors at UTEP, including recognition as a university Top Ten Senior, President of the Year (an award given to an outstanding leader among the university's student organizations), and membership in the Phi Kappa Phi and Mortar Board National Honor Societies. He also is a past recipient of the Del Sol Medical Center Auxiliary Scholarship and Middle Eastern Descendents' Club Scholarship.

UTMB President David L. Callender said the Hamman Foundation has shown great vision and leadership in establishing scholarships that will ultimately help improve care in medically underserved areas. "The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation's generous support will inspire not only our medical students but also our faculty as they train these future physicians how to compassionately care for their patients," Callender said. "Furthermore, by rewarding outstanding students from disadvantaged areas, the foundation helps us prepare health care leaders who will be more inclined to return to their hometowns to practice medicine."

Added Dr. Garland D. Anderson, dean of UTMB's School of Medicine, "We are honored that UTMB is the recipient of the Hamman Foundation's first-ever gifts to graduate education. Their support allows students who have the talent, but may not have the means, to attend medical school. Their generosity will change the lives of the students these scholarships support and the patients these students will one day take care of as physicians."

Headquartered in Houston, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation that was established in 1954 by Mary Josephine Hamman to provide grants and scholarships to various nonprofit organizations in Texas, particularly in the Houston metropolitan area. The foundation provides scholarship assistance to high school seniors for higher education; promotes the fine arts; funds qualified institutions to advance and develop scientific projects; assists churches, associations and conventions of churches in the advancement of religion; aids colleges and universities in operating and capital needs; assists the needy; and supports hospitals, medical colleges and research institutions for the study, treatment and cure of disease. A staunch UTMB supporter, the Hamman Foundation has contributed to various programs and initiatives at the university since 1981.