ASU alumnus physician addresses Porter Scholars

ALAMOSA — Dr. Julian Maendel was the guest speaker at the Adams State University annual Porter Scholars Dinner, Oct. 23. Dr. Maendel recently joined the staff of SLV Health as a general surgeon. A 2007 graduate of Adams State, he was named the university’s Exceptional New Alumnus in 2014. He earned his M.D. at University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2011. At the dinner, he shared with students the path he has taken to become a physician and offered advice.

The late William A. Porter and his wife, Joan, established the Porter Scholars Program in 2007 through the largest gift in Adams State history: $5.8 million worth of stock in E*TRADE, which Porter founded in 1983. Porter went on to launch the International Securities Exchange. Dubbed “the forefather of online trading,” Porter earned a degree in mathematics from Adams State in 1951.

The Porters’ goal in creating the program was to “support students who are majoring in either mathematics or science on the basis of their need and their ongoing academic achievement.” This year, the program awarded $89,500 for scholarships and focused academic programs. Porter Scholars alumni have fulfilled that potential through success in medical and professional school and other careers.

At the dinner, Maendel talked about how he came to attend Adams State and proceed to medical school. “Adams State was an excellent choice, because of the people here. You have one-on-one time with faculty, and they introduce you to opportunities.” Mock interviews for those applying to medical school are just one way students become prepared.

In tackling the challenges of medical school, Maendel told students “You affect what you can and don’t worry about the rest. Worry about maximizing your efforts.” He advised the students to take advantage of opportunities to learn and do more. He also suggested taking a year off to do something different. In the midst of his residency, Maendel spent a year working on a master’s degree in history, but found he missed the operating room.

He advised students to educate themselves financially, because the average debt from medical school is $300,000. “Big names schools cost much more. Prioritize affordability in choosing a medical school. You will have the same opportunities for residency.”

He also suggested students find a good way to deal with stress and to make time for the people in their lives. “Don’t let your goals get in the way of what is important. You need to maintain your relationships.”

Seven of this year’s Porter Scholars are from the San Luis Valley. They include:

* Wyanet Bresnitz, Alamosa H.S.

* Megan Cerny, Centauri H.S., majoring in cellular and molecular biology and chemistry-allied health

* Tyler Cerny, Alamosa H.S, majoring in wildlife biology

* Caleigh Cowan, Monte Vista H.S., majoring in molecular biology

* Isaiah De La Cerda, Alamosa H.S., majoring in pre-engineering

* Jose Mix, Sangre de Cristo H.S., majoring in cellular and molecular biology

* Annarose Phelps, Del Norte H.S., majoring in cellular and molecular biology

This year’s group of Porter Scholars also includes Jacob Angelopulos, Austin Baumeister, Andrea Clark, Kianna Darioosh-Bonnet, Aryanna Elwyn, Travis Ermann, Cassidie Fisher-Price, Logan Hjelmstad, Skylar Higens, Ashley How, Oona King, Piper Meuwissen, Wyatt Moran, Sam Ogden, Noel Prandoni, Isabel Rodriguez, Ashlee Romero, Evan Schehrer, Clifton Simmons, and Julie Starkey.

For more information on Adams State’s Porter Scholars Program, please visit:

Caption: From left, back row: Evan Schehrer, Noël Prandoni, Skylar Higens, Piper Meuwissen, Logan Hjelmstad, Julie Starkey, José Mix, Megan Cerny, Isabel Rodriguez, Kianna Darioosh-Bonnet, Annarose Phelps, and Isaiah DeLaCerda; front row: Wyatt Moran, Austin Baumeister, Sam Ogden, Caleigh Cowan, and Dr. Julian Maendel ‘07. Not pictured: Jacob Angelopulos, Wyanet Bresnitz, Tyler Cerny,  Andrea Clark, Aryanna Elwyn, Travis Ermann, Cassidie Fisher-Price, Ashley How, Oona King, Ashlee Romero, and Clifton Simmons. Courtesy photo