Jaire Saunders Receives Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship from AAMC

Award presented for leadership in efforts to eliminate inequalities in medical education and health care, as well as addressing educational, societal and health care needs of minorities in the United States

Jaire Saunders

Jaire Saunders, Class of 2017, received the Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship from the AAMC.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Jaire Saunders, a third-year medical student at UCR’s School of Medicine, has been named a recipient of the Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship, presented annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

“When Dr. Emma Simmons told me that I had been selected, it didn’t quite register and it took me a couple of seconds to realize that I wasn’t just a finalist, but a recipient,” Saunders said. “My immediate emotion was pure elation.”

The $5,000 scholarship is presented annually to five third-year medical students who have “shown leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care and have demonstrated leadership efforts in addressing educational, societal and health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.”

“What makes this award so special to me is that I am honored to be associated with such great company,” he said. “My colleagues who were selected this year, as well as those selected previously, all have amazing stories of leadership, determination and overcoming great obstacles. It’s truly humbling to be one of those five selected nationwide.”

Saunders said that he was excited that his receipt of the award would also bring “well-deserved” recognition to the UCR School of Medicine, and that he is determined to provide a “return on the investment” of the scholarship.

“From the moment I graduated high school until now, I have treated every bit of financial aid – every grant, fellowship, scholarship, even gifts from family – as an investment in my future,” he said. “I appreciate this investment and am motivated to to pay it back by becoming a successful physician and role model.”

A native of Diamond Bar and a first-generation American whose parents came to the United States from Panama as teenagers, Saunders earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in public health at UCLA before becoming a part of the inaugural class of the UCR School of Medicine. He serves on the Council of African American Parents (CAAP), which advocates for excellence in higher education among African-Americans throughout California, just the latest opportunity in a long history of community service and advocacy.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4598
E-mail: kathy.barton@ucr.edu

Archived under: Inside UCR, , , , , , ,

Top of Page