Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas ’81 leads the Texas Medical Association (TMA), taking the helm as president in May as Dr. Don Read ’64 completed his term in the role. Austin College alumni have a long history of TMA leadership. According to TMA archives, E.P. Becton held the office in 1885-1886, and other alumni presidents were Samuel Clark Red in 1902-1903, Joe Becton in 1922-1923, and Allen T. Stewart in 1951-1952.
Dr. Cardenas has more than 25 years of experience in medicine and health care management. He graduated with honors from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, in 1985, and began his career as an intern and resident at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. Board chair of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas, Dr. Cardenas is a board-certified internal medicine specialist, has served in various medical organizations, and co-founded South Texas Gastroenterology Associates in 1992. He served as president of the Hidalgo – Starr Medical Society in 2001, and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Texas Medical Association in 2005.
Committed to mentoring the next generation of physicians, in 2015 he was instrumental in opening a teaching hospital with 26 residents. Hosting students from the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical School, the hospital will play an integral role in creating a new medical
Sharon Larson ’01 became the first female cardiothoracic (CT) surgeon at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics when she joined the staff in November 2016. There are barely 5,000 CT surgeons nationwide, and only 3 percent of them are female. In her select field, Sharon specializes in cardiothoracic surgery, transplants, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
The small number of available CT surgeons keeps the doctor’s goals very clear. “I want to make sure that my patients are benefiting from any interaction they have with me, whether that be clinical, at the bedside, or operative. My goal will always be providing excellent patient care.”
Sharon completed her master’s degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth and her doctorate of osteopathic medicine from Touro University College in California. She studied general surgery at New York University Lutheran Medical Center and completed fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and thoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.school model.
Jennifer Randles ’03, assistant professor of sociology at California State University, Fresno, received a Provost’s Award this spring as one of seven “Promising New Faculty” recognized for exemplary achievements in teaching, research, scholarship, or service. She also was granted early tenure this spring, having joined the faculty in 2013 after teaching two years at Austin College.
Her first book, Proposing Prosperity?: Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America, was published this year by Columbia University Press. Jennifer offers the following overview of the book: ‘In the 1990s, the U.S. Congress overhauled welfare policy to encourage work, marriage, and responsible fatherhood for Americans in poverty. This led to the creation of the Healthy Marriage Initiative in 2002 and the funding of hundreds of marriage education programs across the country. Based on over 500 hours of participant observation in marriage education classes and interviews with those who taught and took them, this book takes the reader inside the marriage education classroom to reveal how healthy marriage policy promotes the idea that family well-being and poverty prevention depend on individuals learning to love in a responsible and rational way, minimizing the economically costly and socially destabilizing consequences of uninformed romantic choices. Sociologists have long described how social and economic inequalities pervade the most intimate aspects of individuals’ lives. The unique contribution of this book is that it shows how romantic love and interpersonal commitment have recently become direct objects of policy efforts to address inequality.”
Jennifer’s peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Gender & Society and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Her paper, “Redefining the Marital Power Struggle through Relationship Skills: How United States Marriage Education Programs Challenge and Reproduce Gender Inequality,” received the 2016 Jessie Bernard Contribution to Feminists Scholarship Paper Award at the National Council on Family Relations conference in November 2016.
Elizabeth Lauderback Isaac ’08, a registered patent attorney with Dunlap Codding intellectual property boutique law firm in Oklahoma City, was named a 2016 Forty Under 40 honoree by the Oklahoma Gazette. The program honors “exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution to shaping the Oklahoma City landscape.”
Elizabeth’s practice focuses on patent, design, trademark, and copyright law. After graduation from law school, Elizabeth pursued additional education in the field of biological sciences that enabled her to sit for (and pass) the United States Patent and Trademark Office bar exam. She did so while working full time and serving as the inaugural board chair of IgniteOKC. She spent more than 500 hours building what had been a small group of volunteers hosting a one-night event into a fully formed and self-sustaining nonprofit organization that offers numerous public community events. IgniteOKC connects people of diverse backgrounds in support of collaboration, creativity, innovation, and leadership in Oklahoma City.
Elizabeth also works closely with the Oklahoma Film+Music Office to provide resources and growth opportunities for local artists. A Leadership Oklahoma City member, she teaches Sunday School at St. Thomas Orthodox Church; is vice chair of membership for Catalyst, a young professionals board committed to supporting the local cultural community through Allied Arts; serves as an active member of the women’s group Lean In; and is a regular volunteer at the Exchange (formerly Premier) on Film Row.
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