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Had I not attended TCU, I am not sure that I ever would have been accepted in to dental school.  My personal relationship with the professors helped so greatly with my letter of recommendation and I was told that it was one of the best, letters they had ever reviewed.

-Kris Blodgett, D.M.D – TCU Class of 1996, Dentist in Portland, Oregon

TCU doesn't just give you the degree you need to move on, TCU gives its students an education and the promise that they will succeed.

- Hayden Fuller - TCU Class of 2012, Student at University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry

The Pre-Health Professions Team was so supportive and helpful when I was applying to medical school.  That support meant so much and helped me get accepted.

- Diane Hesselbrock, M.D. - TCU Class of 1996, Neurologist in Richmond, VA

The program has done so much to help young people achieve their goals.

- Dan Doss, D.D.S. - TCU Class of 1974, Pediatric Dentist in Fort Worth

Few Pre-Health programs can boast medical school acceptance rates in the range of 80 to 95% that have remained steady for the past ten years.

- Jim Wagner, M.D. -Associate Dean for Student Affairs, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

The leadership, mentorship, and extracurricular experience that I gained through the Pre-Health Professions Program was a distinct advantage in helping me gain admission into my first choice medical school.

- Wendy Wright Seigler, TCU Class of 1994, Medical Director of the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit at Emory University Hospital Midtown

Meet the Pre-Health Institute Staff

Dr. Matt Chumchal

Dr. Matt Chumchal
Director of the Pre-Health Professions Institute

Dr. Matt Chumchal began teaching in the Biology Department at TCU in 2007 and has been a Pre-Health Advisor since 2008. Dr. Chumchal teaches Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Environmental Biology along with sections of Introductory Biology and Ecology and the Environment. When he is not teaching or working with Pre-Health students, Dr. Chumchal can be found in his research lab where he studies mercury contamination in the environment. Dr. Chumchal is a Fort Worth native and lives down the street from TCU with his wife Emily and two daughters, Ella and Lily.

Dr. Meredith Curtis

Dr. Meredith Curtis
Associate Director of the Pre-Health Professions Institute

Dr. Meredith Curtis began teaching in the Biology Department at TCU in 2015. She has served as a Pre-health Advisor since 2015 and transitioned to Associate Director of the Pre-Health Professions Institute in 2017. Dr. Curtis teaches Basic Microbiology in the fall semester and Histology and one section of the Majors Microbiology in the spring semester. Dr. Curtis performed research for almost fifteen years in the areas of host: pathogen interactions and bacterial pathogenesis prior to joining the Biology Department as an Instructor, where she exclusively teaches and works with Pre-Health students. Dr. Curtis is a native Texan, only venturing out of state to attend graduate school at the University of Washington. She lives near campus with her husband Michael and her two sons, Jonah and Asher.

Shauna McGillivray

Dr. Shauna McGillivray
Associate Director of the Pre-Health Professions Institute

Dr. Shauna McGillivray became a Horned Frog in January 2010 when she started as an Associate Professor in the Biology department. She teaches Microbiology and Medical Microbiology as well as sections of Introductory Biology and Cell Biology. Dr. McGillivray has served on HPAC since 2011 and enjoys getting to know the pre-health students outside of the classroom. She also runs a year-round research lab studying the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of the deadly disease Anthrax. Dr. McGillivray originally hails from Minnesota, but her ability to withstand cold winters was thoroughly ruined after living for 9 years in San Diego where she conducted her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research at the University of California-San Diego.

Mark Demarest

Dr. Mark Demarest

Dr. Mark Demarest joined the biology faculty of TCU as an Instructor and pre-health advisor in 2015. In 2018, he became the designated Transfer Student Advisor for pre-health, in order to better guide students transitioning into the program from other institutions. Dr. Demarest currently teaches the organismal part of the Introductory Biology series, along with courses in the area of marine science, and oversees the Biology Major Field Test exit assessment required of all graduating Biology majors. He spends most of his free time trying to keep up with his two horned tadpoles, Mason and Emelyn.

Jill Duncan

Jill Duncan
Coordinator for the Pre-Health Professions Institute

Jill Duncan is the Coordinator and an advisor for the Pre-health Professions Institute. In addition to insuring that the Pre-Health program runs smoothly on a daily basis, Jill is often the first point of contact for students and their parents. A graduate of DePaul University, Jill came to TCU in 2010 and has been a part of the Pre-Health Institute since 2012. Jill is married to Keith, and has four daughters, Katelyn, Alexandra, Mackenzie, and Emma, and one son, Cole. She has two granddaughters, Paige and Lily, and three grandsons, Eli, Wyatt, and Emmitt. A native of Minnesota, she prefers the sun in Texas and has lived in the Fort Worth area since 2008.

Dr. Jessica Standifer

Jessica Standifer
Academic Program Specialist

Jessica Standifer is the Academic Program Specialist for the TCU Pre-Health Professions Institute. Jessica loves providing information to Pre-Health students regarding institute activities, programs, and managing our clinical observation program. Jessica holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from University of Arizona. Prior to coming to TCU, she worked in K-12 Education, Information Technology, and Career and Technical Advising. Her eclectic background has supported her in maintaining professional development, integrity, and enthusiasm in every initiative. Encouraging and motivating is a major part of her personal passion in mentoring students.

Dr. Clark Jones
Instructor II, Biology Department

Dr. Clark Jones joined the Department of Biology in 2007 and has served as a Pre-Health advisor since 2016. Dr. Jones coordinates the “mock” Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) event that helps HPAC prepare letters of recommendations and also prepares pre-health students for professional school interviews during their application process. Dr. Jones earned his undergraduate and Master of Science degrees at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and his Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Jones teaches Microbiology, Rwanda Health, a study abroad course, and Introduction to University Life courses and focuses on bringing global health awareness and initiatives to TCU. Dr. Jones was awarded the TCU Dean’s Teaching Award and was a finalist for the Wassenich Award for Mentoring in the TCU Community. Dr. Jones serves on the TCU Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC), is Chair of TCU Faculty Senate, and is Chair-Elect for the TCU Clark Society Board. He and his partner John live in Dallas and his daughter, McKenzie, is pursuing a degree in Bio-Medical Engineering at Texas A&M.

Dr. Laura E. Luque
Instructor II, Biology Department

Dr. Laura E. Luque joined the Biology Department as an Instructor and Pre-Health advisor in 2015. Dr. Luque is the Global Health Coordinator in the Pre-Health office. She advices students on health-related experiences abroad and leads the Ethical Traveler Endorsement. Dr. Luque is the faculty mentor for the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) and for the student association Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Luque also mentors TCU’s STEM Scholars and Community Scholars. Courses taught by Dr. Luque include Introduction to Biology I, Human Parasitology, STEM Summer Bridge, Rwanda Human and Environmental Health, and the Ethical Traveler Seminar. Dr. Luque is originally from Mexico, loves to travel, and spends most of her time with her beloved pets.

Dr. Dave Minter
Professor, Chemistry Department

Dr. Dave Minter has been on the faculty in the department of chemistry at TCU since the fall of 1980 and a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee since the summer of 1981. He earned his BS and MS degrees in chemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University and a PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Minter teaches all four of the lectures and laboratories that constitute the sophomore organic chemistry course sequence as well as special topics classes on synthetic organic chemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. In addition to teaching, he participates in summer orientation advising for pre-health students and pre-registration advising in the fall and spring. Dr. Minter’s research in synthetic methodology and natural product synthesis keeps him busy in the laboratory unless he is teaching or advising or watching the Horned Frogs play basketball.