Health Professions Advising Center at UT Dallas

Contacting HPAC

UT Dallas students and alumni, call 972.883.6767 for a half-hour discussion of in-depth questions, or drop in with a brief question from 1:30-4:30 pm weekdays. Drop ins are limited to 10 minutes or less. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Prospective students and parents are served by Enrollment Services, and can also look for the pre-health events and staff at recruitment events like Scholar’s Day. (Frequently Asked Questions)

The HPAC Office is located at UT Dallas in FO 2.210 (Founders Building, 2nd floor). The UT Dallas Visitors page has maps and directions to campus.

Operating hours are 8:00 AM-5:00 PM weekdays.

The Health Profession Advising Center mailing address is:

UT Dallas - Health Profession Advising Center
800 West Campbell Rd., FO30
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

HPAC Personnel

Dr. Karen de Olivares – Director and Advisor

Dr. Karen de Olivares joined the Health Professions Advising Center as Director in 2012. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, in Educational Foundations and Policy Analysis, Educational Studies. From 2000 to 2012, she directed Pre-Med/Pre-Health advising at Southern Methodist University and was an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Sociology. Her distinguished contributions to U.S pre-health advising include editing the Pre-Health Advisors’ Reference Manual and New Advisors’ Reference Manual, and serving the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (TAAHP) as Secretary, Treasurer, and Chair. Dr. de Olivares also participates in the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center Girls Services Committee. Her publications include “From Pigs Eyes’ to Mouse Ears,” “Unframed Photo: Some Wore Blue and Some Wore Gray,” “The Real Cost of Measuring Effectiveness,” and “A Participant-Observation Course in Applied Adolescent Development,” as well as numerous book reviews.

In addition to leading HPAC, Dr. de Olivares sponsors AED, Molding Doctors, and Miracles for Kids.

Jeanna Sanchez – Front Desk

On the phone or in person, Jeanna Sanchez is students’ main point of contact at HPAC. Jeanna Sanchez joined the HPAC team in October of 2014. She attends the reception desk, provides support services to students, and directs them to their advisors in the HPAC office and resources around campus.

Ms. Sanchez earned an Associates degree in General Studies and has a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Arapahoe Community College in Colorado. She is also a certified Medical Office Assistant and studied Elementary Education at New Mexico State University and is a certified fitness instructor. Outside of work she spends a lot of time cheering for her daughter on the soccer field and enjoys listening to her son play the guitar. She loves the outdoors and going to concerts, traveling, cooking and spending time with her friends and family.

Doyen Rainey — Asst. Director and Advisor

Doyen Rainey joined the HPAC team in the 2007 with several years of experience as an author and educator. A UT Dallas alum, Doyen was a McDermott Scholar and campus leader, active in Student Government and the Collegium V honors college. He earned three Teacher Certifications and a Master’s in Teaching, bachelor’s degrees in Literary Studies and Psychology, and a national Scholastic Art and Writing award. His contributions to pre-health advising include developing online courses and presenting at national, regional, and state conferences; he currently serves on the board of the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (TAAHP).

We know Mr. Rainey for sensitive and patient advising and as teacher of Verbal Reasoning. He currently sponsors AED, the Pre-Optometry Professional Society (POPS), and Pre-Dental Association (PDA), and is the Health Professions Advising Center’s primary contact for technologies development.

Mr. Rainey’s interests outside HPAC include writing and storytelling, photography, music, martial arts, and his wife and three children.

Shirley Yang — Advisor

shirley.yang@utdallas.edu

Shirley Yang earned a Master’s in Higher Education Administration & Supervision from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

From 2010-2013, Shirley served as a College Advisor to an inner-city Biomedical Sciences high school, assisting many low-income and first-generation students with college and financial aid information and application guidance. She also helped pre-health students apply to science intensive programs such as Pre-JAMP Camp and other university summer opportunities. She joined the HPAC team in 2013 as a full-time advisor of UT Dallas’s pre-health students. Shirley serves as the primary contact for the Certificate in Biomedical Sciences program and sponsors the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Society.

Her hobbies include running, Zumba classes, watching comedies, and traveling. In addition, she is always finding ways to further develop her Mandarin and Spanish language abilities.

Leona McCulley — Advisor

leona.mcculley@utdallas.edu

Leona McCulley is a graduate of the University of Houston. She earned a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and a Bachelor’s in Biology. She has several years of experience in healthcare, working in pharmacy, health information, and as an administrator. Before joining HPAC, she worked at Baylor Medical Center.

Leona assists current students, especially in pharmacy and health information science.

In her spare time she enjoys professional sporting events, especially basketball. She also enjoys traveling and discovering beautiful beaches. Her other hobbies include reading, swimming, and watching movies.

Thuy Luong – Advisor

Thuy Luong provides administrative and logistics support at HPAC, advises international students, and coordinates HPAC’s charitable outreach to END7.

Mrs. Luong earned her master’s in Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, and a bachelor’s in International Business from Hanoi Foreign Trade University. She joined HPAC in Fall 2013 after 5 years at University of Arkansas before joining the HPAC in November 2013, bringing a background in Diplomatic Missions and a telecom representative office. Her hobbies include reading, watching TV and spending time with her family.

Col. (ret) David Murchison, DDS, MMS

Colonel Murchison graduated from U. Arkansas in 1977 with a BS Zoology, where he served as ROTC Cadet Corps Commander. In 1980, he graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry and was selected for a one-year Dental General Practice residency at Keesler AFB. He subsequently completed the 2-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.

Col. Murchison is a diplomate of the Federal Services Board of General Dentistry and the American Board of General Dentistry. Selected for a Dental Biomaterials Fellowship, he completed this certificate program at the University of Indiana School of Dentistry in 1991 and earned a Master of Medical Science with emphasis in Research Methodology and Test Design in 2003. A Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry since 1984, he achieved Master status in 1995.

Col. Murchison's assignments include four tours as a full-time faculty member in Air Force AEGD residency programs, program director of the AEGD-2, and Military Consultant to the USAF Surgeon General for General Dentistry as well as for Graduate Dental and Continuing Education. He commanded the 35th Dental Squadron located at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and the 59th Dental Training Squadron at Lackland AFB, TX. In 2007, he accepted directorship of Air Force Dental Operations under the Office of the Surgeon General, responsible for 350,000 Air Force members at 80 dental clinic locations worldwide.

In 2010, Col. Murchison retired to Dallas after 30 years in the USAF. He currently advises HPAC and teaches both at the University of Texas at Dallas and the Baylor College of Dentistry.

Former Directors

Dr. Scott Wright

Dr. Scott Wright served UT Dallas as associate dean and director of the Health Professions Advising Center from 2006 through 2011. His twenty years of higher education experience, including ten years as the director of admissions at UT Southwestern Medical School, shaped the personality of HPAC’s advising and services. During his time at UT Dallas, Dr. Wright held prestigious positions in many state and national professional organizations, was elected president of the National Association of Advisors of Health Professions (NAAHP), implemented the pre-health minor, Certificate in Biomedical Sciences, and UT-PACT, and oversaw the state’s most rigorous Health Professions Evaluation Process.

Dr. Wright currently directs the Texas Medical and Dental Application Service, overseeing all applications to Texas medical, dental, and veterinary schools.

Dr. Joseph Wood

Dr. Joseph G. Wood served as HPAC Director and professor of neuroscience from 1996 until his retirement in 2007. Over his 45 year career, Dr. Wood shaped the founding of University of Texas medical schools in San Antonio and Houston, and served as chairman of the anatomy department at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He received many state and national honors during his tenure.

Since 2007, the University of Texas at Dallas has honored his legacy with the Joseph G. Wood Award and scholarship, presented each year to the university’s top medical or dental applicant.