June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018


Grads to Receive VolunTIER Awards for Service, Academic Excellence

Anita Boulom

Anita Boulom

For the first time, UT Dallas will honor graduating students who have not only maintained an excellent academic record but also invested hundreds of hours in volunteer service on campus and in the community.

Nearly 70 students will receive medallions at Honors Convocation on Thursday to wear at graduation. Their average cumulative GPA is 3.72, and they have served a total of nearly 9,500 hours.

Among them are biology seniors Anita Boulom and Steve Phan who have accumulated more than 80 hours of service over the past academic year in the VolunTIER program while maintaining a grade-point average of 3.25 or higher.

The pair exemplifies what UT Dallas tries to instill in its students: a drive to succeed academically while also becoming altruistic leaders who serve their communities, said Courtney Brecheen, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education.

“We hope that this program will demonstrate to the community at large the personal values of our graduates, while incentivizing current students to make both academic and service contributions during their undergraduate careers,” Brecheen said.

Steve Phan

Steve Phan

The VolunTIER program started in fall 2015 with the Dean’s Service Milestone Award. This distinction is awarded through a letter from the dean of Undergraduate Education, Dr. Andy Blanchard, to commend students who document at least 40 hours of service during a semester and earn at least a 3.25 semester GPA. Twenty-one students received this distinction in the fall semester. The award can be earned each semester. The goal is that each of these students will earn VolunTIER Service Honors at graduation.

VolunTIER participants serve on and off campus, helping with events sponsored by UT Dallas student organizations and departments, as well as assisting at area nonprofit agencies, hospitals or other community entities.

Boulom has volunteered regularly since her sophomore year as a way to give back to the community. She also has maintained a 3.9 GPA.

Her volunteer efforts have centered around a future medical career. Boulom has worked with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, as well as with Union Gospel Mission’s Calvert Place and Center of Hope clinics. But she also has volunteered with opportunities ranging from a 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s disease to serving as a tutor for students in UT Dallas science classes.

“I just really love volunteering every week that I can. Being able to give back brings me a lot of satisfaction,” Boulom said.

She has applied to physician assistant schools, and before entering graduate school, she will work as a scribe in the emergency room of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Garland.

“I know it’s hard to find time, but volunteering even a few hours a week is worth it,” Boulom said. “It really gets you out and engaged with the community.”

Phan began volunteering to fulfill a requirement on his medical school applications, but he has since racked up more than 300 hours of service while maintaining a 3.9 GPA.

“It began as something I just wanted to check off a list, but I really came to love it,” Phan said.

He enjoys working with the underprivileged at area medical clinics and homeless shelters, and he has served as a mentor for the UT Dallas Academic Excellence Scholarship program.

“There’s more to life than being career-motivated,” Phan said as he recalled the example of his parents when they emigrated from Vietnam. “I saw people struggle, and now I want to see if I can help others come to the place where I am now. If you really want to do it, you’ll find a place for it in your schedule.”

Media Contact: Robin Russell, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon email icon

© The University of Texas at Dallas 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080 (972) 883-2111