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UConn Senior Headed For Medical School
Wins First Jennifer Smith Scholarship
December 6, 1999

Ursula McMillian was just five years old and when she decided she wanted to become a doctor. She has moved deftly toward that goal ever since.

McMillian, now a senior at UConn, has already been accepted into the University's School of Medicine, Class of 2004. Earlier this month, she became the recipient of the first annual Jennifer Smith Scholarship in recognition of her outstanding academic and civic-minded achievements.

Jennifer Smith, a highly accomplished businesswoman, is a former trustee of the University and chair of the board's health affairs committee. She established the scholarship to honor and assist African American students who pursue careers in medicine.

Marja Hurley, associate dean of the UConn Health Center and director of its Health Career Opportunity Programs, describes McMillian as a model student and citizen. "Not only has she excelled academically but she has also found time to help other students and to volunteer for many different projects," she says.

When McMillian starts medical school in the fall she will already be familiar with the Health Center. She has participated in several programs coordinated by the Health Center and the Health Professions Partnership Initiative, including a summer program for college students who want to go on to medical or dental school. Also, through the Bridge to the Future Science Mentorship Program, McMillian has received guidance and direction from a UConn medical student.

At Storrs, McMillian majors in physiology and neurobiology and has made the Dean's List every semester. She is a Day of Pride, four-year scholarship recipient and is in the Honors Scholar program. McMillian is also a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and was recently awarded a $1,000 DelaGeorges Scholarship to support her honors senior research project.

In addition to her scholastic achievements, McMillian has volunteered with the UConn Day of Pride Committee for four years and has represented the Honors Program and Project 3000 by 2000 at several events. She is active with the Black Students Association and has served as both its social chair and vice president. In Hartford, she has been a tutor at Kinsella Elementary School and has also tutored her peers at UConn in chemistry, statistics, calculus and English.

McMillian grew up in Bridgeport. The oldest of four children, she is the first in her family to attend college.

Maureen McGuire