Conrad program has attracted almost 200 undergrads to UTSW in 24 years

Assistant Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Kimel Hodges (center) congratulates Conrad program interns Leah Levels (left) and Rachel Maxie.
Assistant Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Kimel Hodges (center) congratulates Conrad program interns Leah Levels (left) and Rachel Maxie.

College undergraduates Leah Levels and Rachel Maxie spent the summer in UT Southwestern’s Department of Accounting, two of 15 participants in the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program who gained invaluable experience working at an academic medical center.

 “This was hands-on experience, no question about it,” said Ms. Levels, a junior year at Texas Christian University, where she is studying actuarial science. “They taught us a lot. What surprised me most was how many hours they put in doing the job.”

“The exposure to everything in accounting meant a lot to me,” said Ms. Maxie, a sophomore accounting major at Texas State University. “I completed a lot of projects this summer, from bank statements to journal uploads.”

The program that began in 1993 is named for Dr. Emmett J. Conrad, a renowned African-American physician, civic leader, and education activist who died earlier that same year. State Sen. Royce West, whose Senate District 23 includes UT Southwestern, runs the program.

Kimel Hodges, Assistant Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, lauded the program, which to date has sent nearly 200 interns to UT Southwestern. Twenty-four years ago, UTSW became one of the first organizations to partner with Sen. West on this effort.

“UT Southwestern is a proud and longtime supporter of the Conrad program, providing our community’s college students with exposure to real-life work experiences,” Ms. Hodges said. “Receiving mentoring and coaching that expands upon what their professors and parents provide is a real growth opportunity. Students gain not only marketable experience, but insight into an obtainable future.”

For the two interns in Accounting, they were appreciative of the exposure to work experience in their chosen fields.

 “This is in the field I hope to go into,” Ms. Maxie said, “and they did their best to fit me in and allow me to see what accounting is like in a work setting.”

2017 Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership interns, listed with their college and areas worked on campus

Samrawit Alemu, Texas Woman’s University, Emergency Medicine; Briana Birdine, Texas Tech, Health Care Services; Stephanie Brieno, Midwestern State, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Tristan Cojoe, Dillard University, Human Resources; Chukwunwike Echezona, UT Austin, Physician Assistant Studies; Bryce Griffin, Marietta College, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Krishaelyn Hamilton, Prairie View A&M, Health System Affairs; Dalesia Harris, Lamar University, Emergency Medicine; Talya Hosea, Sam Houston State, Physical Therapy; Leah Levels, TCU, Accounting; Rachel Maxie, Texas State, Accounting; Walter Oliver, Harvard, Cardiology; Alexandria Reynolds, Hardin-Simmons, Supplier Diversity/HUB; and Grace Pruitt-Rhynes, Dillard University, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.