November 2009

Welcome to Pathways!
HCC officers
Our goal is to serve as a resource for you as you navigate the pathway through school and, ultimately, to a health career. Each month, you'll receive career and college planning tips, advice and resources to help you make your health career dreams a reality.

News from NC-HCAP...

HCC officersNC-HCAP 2.0
NC-HCAP now has a home on Facebook. Stay connected to NC-HCAP and all the resources and activities we offer to help you make your health career dreams a reality.
In This Issue
Motivational Minute
Health Careers 101
Spotlight on Success
Strategies for Success
Join our Mailing List!
The North Carolina Health Careers Access Program (NC-HCAP) is located at UNC-Chapel Hill. Additional campus-based centers are located at Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Established in 1971 by Dr. Cecil G. Sheps, we work to increase the number of underrepresented minorities or economically and/or educationally disadvantaged students who are educated, trained and employed in the health professions.

For more than 35 years, we have provided thousands of students with a variety of programs and activities to raise their awareness of opportunities available within the health professions and to increase their competitiveness as health professional school applicants.

We're always here to assist you. Simply contact us at:

(919) 966-2264
[email protected]
Motivational Minute
HCC officers"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can send it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."
                                                        - Harvey Mackay
Ever felt there aren't enough hours in the day to do all you have to do? Well, here's a question for you: How are you using your time? The word of the month is MAXIMIZE! Use your time wisely to plan and execute! Procrastination is the enemy. Don't put off the things that can be done today to move you forward for tomorrow. Let this quote by Harvey Mackay guide you to effective time management practices in your life--at school and beyond.
Health Careers 101
biostatisticianWho said math and medicine don't mix? For BIOSTATISTICIANS, a dose of medical data and an ounce of statistics create a wonderful career choice for those who want to help solve health problems!


Biostatisticians analyze data from clinical trials and help investigators design health studies. They hold academic positions in schools of public health, medicine and statistics; work in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries; and work in health agencies at the local, state and national levels.

$65,000 or higher, depending on your degree

Education: You have to have a bachelor's degree, but a master's or doctorate degree is necessary for advanced research positions.

Hot Link: American Statistical Association

Source: NC-HCAP Health Careers Information & Enrichment Workshop manual
Spotlight on Success

HCC officersHealing Hands

Childhood  Emergency Room Experience Paved the Way to Cancer Research

By Elizabeth Lassiter, Communications Intern

Darrell Hunt, an inner-city kid from Miami, vividly remembers his first encounter with the medical system.

"The first thing I remember about medicine was sitting with my grandmother in the emergency room while she was having chest pain. That day we arrived at 7 a.m. and didn't see a doctor until around 4 p.m.," said Hunt.

Hunt didn't go to school that day. Instead he spent those nine hours comforting his grandmother while she held her left arm and spoke of the pain in her chest.

"I remember, even at the age of six, thinking, there's got to be a better way to do this. That's when I decided to become a doctor."

Hunt credits his grandmother and her many trials with the Miami medical system for teaching him about inequalities in the system. Through the years he spent taking care of his ailing grandmother, he realized that recovery could come in all forms.

"I realized that all I was doing [for her] - checking her prescriptions, holding her hand, reading her stories, cooking her dinner, administering her medication, telling jokes, crying with her - were all part of caring, a part of healing," said Hunt.

Hunt went on to enroll in a pre-med curriculum at UNC in pursuit of his medical dreams. While there, NC-HCAP's Science Enrichment Preparation (SEP) Program proved to be an invaluable step toward becoming a physician.

"SEP provided a foundation of learning how to study and provided my first undergraduate experience with medical professions," recalled Hunt. "I think SEP was great for its ability to show students a broad range of careers and opportunities for minority students. I came out of that summer more confident in my abilities as a student and as a student-leader."

After graduating from UNC, Hunt attended medical school at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, where he became particularly interested in surgery for the "craft of operating" and the intimate interactions with surgery patients.

Following medical school, Hunt spent time working at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UNC School of Medicine where he completed research in surgical oncology. In a position where he felt distant from patients, Hunt managed to keep sight of the broader community.

"Even though it seems like I'm in a little lab by myself, I'm part of a group of thousands of people worldwide who are trying to cure cancer."

Today, Hunt is finishing his last two years of surgical training at the University of Florida. He has already earned a Ph.D., and was honored with the Ray Bierstedt Memorial Award from the University of Florida Department of Surgery.

Hunt is well on his way to achieving the goals he set as a little boy in that Miami emergency room, one step at a time. 
Strategies for Success
How to Win the Standardized Test GameHCC officers

Seven test-taking tips to help you reach your goals

By Megan Lavine, Communications Intern
Students' problems surrounding standardized tests are most often not with the tests themselves, but rather with their own test-taking abilities and anxieties. According to Frank Kessler, UNC Learning Center reading program coordinator, students who know how the test-taking game is played have a huge advantage over those who don't. No matter which test you're registered for, the following seven tips will help give you that advantage!
1. Vocab, vocab, vocab!
  • Study vocabulary. Make vocabulary lists and flashcards and take them with you to study wherever you go. Greek and Latin root words account for 60 percent of the English language; learning these roots will save you time studying.
  • Read for fun. Reading often increases the breadth of your vocabulary, the sophistication of your writing and the speed of your reading.
  • Play games. Word games like Scrabble or crossword puzzles enhance your vocabulary in a fun way.
2. Use practice tests
  • Take a practice test. Go over the problems that you missed to pinpoint your trouble areas. This will also help to give you broader understanding of the main concepts of the test.
  • Books with past tests are available at local libraries, bookstores or online. There are many programs offered at reduced rates on university campuses that help with study skills and preparation. 
3. Learn the tricks
  • Beware of answer choices containing absolutes or conditionals using words like always, never, except or if. Correct answer choices will not take strong opinions or stances, therefore you can eliminate overly simple, eye-catching or opinionated options.
  • Read the questions first. On a reading comprehension section, reading the questions before the passage can alert you to key words and ideas. These exam tests for concepts and comprehension so read for content and try to understand the bigger picture.
4. Pace yourself
  • Don't get bogged down. Keep an eye on the clock to make sure you aren't spending too much time a particular question. If a question is tricky, make an educated guess (if your test does not penalize for incorrect answers) or move on to the next question. 
 5. Read the questions carefully
  • Understand and answer. Pay attention to exactly what the question is asking. Do not make any assumptions about a question or a condition, to avoid making careless conclusions.
6. Re-check your answer sheet
  • Look over your exam. If you have time, recheck math computations and go over your essay to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.
7. Consider commercial preparation courses
  • Think about your individual learning style. Many students opt to take commercial prep courses for guidance. Teachers in a classroom setting can lead students toward what they should be studying. Places like Kaplan and Princeton Review offer such courses.
Above all, have confidence in yourself! You've prepared and planned to the best of your abilities, now go out and ace that test! Good luck!
Test Prep

Find information and resources related to test preparation to help prepare for college entrance exams at

College Search

Browse college rankings, research and evaluate different colleges and universities, and pick the best match to meet your needs at
Health Careers

Explore various health careers, read about students and professionals in the health field, and even locate information on current health-related issues and topics at and

  Meet Ms. Rivera
As the pre-college outreach coordinator, Koyah Rivera is responsible for planning, developing and implementing pre-college outreach initiatives across North Carolina.

Before joining NC-HCAP, Rivera was employed as a college admissions counselor at Shaw University in Raleigh. She has served as a Language Arts teacher for Wake County Public Schools and TV news producer/writer at two NBC TV stations. She is also the founder/executive director/TV host of Beyond Gifted, Inc., a non-profit organization which produces the "Beyond Gifted" television program to assist K-12 students in developing post-secondary plans to reach school and life success. She received dual B.A. degrees in communications and English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.