Charles Scruggs

Name: Charles P. Scruggs

Job: Director of the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC)

Moving from Ohio to sunny California, Charles Scruggs, director of the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC), is a new addition to the UCR family. Although Scruggs has only been on campus for five months, he is already beaming with Highlander Pride!

“It has been an amazing start so far,” Scruggs said.

As the director of HPAC, Scruggs is a resource for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in health care. He provides those who want to go to medical, dental or pharmacy school, advice and support to help them reach their goals. In addition to meeting with students, Scruggs and his team plans the HPAC programs, which include various workshops, peer mentorships and talks from physicians.

“Typically, I see five to six students a day. They’ll come in and we’ll talk about careers, course selections, letters of recommendation; we may be talking about prepping for a professional test like the Medical College Admission Test or Dental Admission Test. And when I am not doing advising, I spend a lot of time working on the HPAC programs,” Scruggs described.

Two things drew Scruggs to UCR. One, the UCR School of Medicine oversees HPAC. “That’s a unique model. Most offices like ours are usually overseen by a Career Center or the Provost Office,” he explained. Two, UCR is a very special campus. “I really love the diversity of the school! That is something that is very unique to UCR.”

Scruggs’ passion for pre-health advising stems from his five years as an assistant director of the Pre-Professions Advising Center at the University of Cincinnati, where he worked before coming to UCR.

“In that position, I found out a lot about health care and about various health careers that I didn’t even know existed. To me, that’s all really fascinating; that is what led me to this position today,” said Scruggs.

A piece of advice that Scruggs likes to share with his students is, “College is very much a journey. Sometimes what you start out doing may not be what you end up doing, and that’s okay. It’s about learning more about yourself, other people and what you’re able to do to contribute to the world. That’s what makes you a success; not necessarily a title or a career.”

When Scruggs is not in his office at Pierce Hall working with colleagues Amber Newell, Steven Hough and Queen Egiebor, he likes to hike, participate in extreme sports like skydiving, try new restaurants, and travel.

“I try to go to a new country every year. I want to hit as many continents as possible. This year, I will be going to Australia in December,” Scruggs said.

Bethanie Le


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