The George Kaiser Family Foundation will provide scholarships for biology students at Rogers State University who plan to gain admission to the University of Oklahoma’s School of Community Medicine in Tulsa and pursue careers in treating patients from parts of the state underserved by the present health care system.
The announcement was made by the George Kaiser Family Foundation on Monday, Feb. 28, on the RSU campus in Claremore.
“We look forward to working with Rogers State University and the OU School of Community Medicine. The School of Community Medicine is designed to improve the health of Oklahomans, in rural and urban communities across the state,” said Ken Levit, Executive Director of George Kaiser Family Foundation. “This scholarship will help bring some of the best and brightest students into the program and offer opportunities for them to give back to their communities and state.”
The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) helped to establish the OU School of Community Medicine in Tulsa in 2008, with the goal of improving the health of Oklahomans. RSU offers a bachelor of science (B.S.) in biology with a medical molecular option, designed for students who plan to pursue careers in medicine.
“The RSU biology program has gained a reputation for preparing students who transfer to graduate programs in medicine, pharmacy and other professional health programs,” said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU president. The George Kaiser Family Foundation — RSU Community Medicine Scholarship will be available to RSU medical-molecular biology majors (pre-med) selected through a three-phase process, beginning this fall.
Initially, RSU will designate 12 biology majors who complete a core set of courses with a 3.2 GPA or above to attend an orientation event at the OU School of Community Medicine, said Dr. Keith Martin, Dean of the RSU School of Mathematics, Science and Health Sciences. The event will familiarize the students with admission requirements and mission of the medical school. The GKFF will provide funding for the students to attend the event.
In the second phase, three students will be selected to continue on the RSU-OU community medicine track, with strong consideration provided to applicants who exhibit community engagement, service and volunteerism, Martin said.
The GKFF will provide funding for the students to enroll in an MCAT preparation course and take the MCAT exam, while completing their studies at RSU. In the final phase, GKFF will provide scholarships for two RSU students who are committed to gaining admission to the OU School of Community Medicine.
The scholarships will include up to $5,000 for each student to complete their pre-med studies at RSU, including tuition, housing and books.