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Health Jobs Pathways:…

High-tech, high-speed, hands-on: In her first-year teaching, St. Philip’s College Radiology program alumna ensures her Judson High School students attend SPC's Camp 98.6 Medical Jobs Pathway program June 11-15...
Camp 98.6 Radiology Alumna Photo 01

Health Jobs Pathways: Students of SPC Radiology Alumna Attend Camp 98.6


With the help of a 2010 radiology alumna who has been on an amazing life journey, St. Philip's College is enhancing the futures of 20 health science technology students from Judson High School this week in the tenth anniversary version of a program that has provided one cost-free week of high-tech study each summer with both the college and the lead Level I trauma center for all of South Texas.

The tenth anniversary edition of the Camp 98.6 program runs June 11-15 and begins June 11-12 in the Center for Health Professions building at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive in the City's Denver Heights neighborhood. The camp concludes June 13-15 off-campus at University Health System sites.

"The teacher who brought the students here actually graduated from St. Philip's College."

Thus began, upon a Judson Independent School District bus driver's proud observation, a conversation with Denise Aguilar, R. T. (ARRT), a first-year radiology/health science instructor at Judson Independent School District and a 2010 alumna of the radiology program at St. Philip's College who is giving back as a teacher following several years of experience practicing radiology at local hospitals. She's helping her students by bringing them back to where she began her successful pathway.

"I was a teen mom who'd never thought about college, when I had to provide for my child," Aguilar shared while glancing upward as one of her college radiology faculty members from 2009 and 2010 smiled in recognition. "I had a scholarship to attend St. Philip's College and I jumped right in to studying computer programming, but eventually, my interest and pathway changed and I was accepted into the St. Philip's College radiography program. I went from college to work for several local hospitals, and I decided on entering academia when I saw there was an opening at Judson High School," said Aguilar.

"This is my first year teaching, and I'm already bringing students back to where I came from, to help my students get a better understanding of what doors they can open with the educations they can receive here," said Aguilar. "I studied health sciences at St. Philip's College during the transition from our original building to the Center for Health Professions, which is an amazing place to study my field," Aguilar said in reference to the college's $49 million Center for Health Professions that was opened in 2009.

"As a student at Jefferson High School, I was withdrawn from the school and I got my GED though the Northside (ISD) GED program. Growing up, I'd never thought about college, but at Northside GED, with my high grades and scores and having to work… they recommended the scholarship award, and it catapulted me into continuing my education at a time in my life when I had no plan," said Aguilar. "I still have my scholarship letters somewhere, and I also graduated from the UIW Health Science program---and I recently completed my alternative teacher certification. It all came together," Aguilar said with a smile.

"Jaylen DeRohn is going to be one of my radiology practicum students and she wants to be a sonographer," Aguilar said as she gestured toward one of the Judson High School students in distinctive red shirts for their campus classes. "My health care pathway students are sophomore-senior level, and a lot of them will be my students next year. I told them, if this is what you want to do, then this is the camp you must attend---by application-and-selection only," said Aguilar.

During the camp opening, where DeRohn and other students went around the room explaining their health profession passion, it became clear that each student had a different pathway within the health professions in mind. Later it also became clear the students were generalists for the day, putting aside dreams of specialization to learn and inquire from the ground up. The Judson students spent a few minutes with college histology program coordinator Lucy Escobedo, talking pathology in a setting that is forever iconically popularized in the CSI TV franchise, but that in reality is actually better described as the hub of an industry that answers queries millions of doctors have about billions of patients worldwide through the examination of human tissue.

Jessica Cooper and Melmar Ordinario are college Health Science Division department chairs who administer the high-tech, high-speed camp.

During the first two days of Camp 98.6 at St. Philip's College, Judson students are learning the fundamentals of trauma patient care, explained Cooper. At St. Philip's College, those Judson students are rotating through all areas which a trauma patient would go through such as surgical technology, radiography and laboratory services, explained Ordinario.

For information on the Camp 98.6 experience, contact Jessica Cooper ( or Melmar Ordinario ( at (210) 486-2050.

 Camp 98.6 Radiology Alumna Photo 01 Camp 98.6 Radiology Alumna Photo 02  Camp 98.6 Radiology Alumna Photo 03
CAPTION: Images of Judson High School students in St. Philip's College's tenth anniversary CAMP 98.6 program are reminders that the program providing one cost-free week of study each summer with both the college and the lead Level I trauma center for all of South Texas---University Health System--- takes place at both partner facilities with a new generation of students June 11-15. (SPC images by Julysa Sosa)