Just what the doctor ordered
Ed Morton's devotion to students makes UTA's pre-med program among state's best
by Sherry Wodraska Neaves
Ed Morton is in the business of making dreams come true.
"People come into my office and share their dream of being a
doctor, a dentist or other health care professional, and we help them
achieve that goal," said Morton, the College
of Science assistant dean for student affairs. "I can't think
of a more rewarding job.
"It's everything dealing with students-from recruiting them to graduating them-we do it all."
The counseling is his favorite part. "That's where you can have a real impact on people."
"Ed Morton is one of the reasons UTA has one of the best pre-med programs in the state. When students enter our pre-med program, Ed does everything possible to facilitate their success."
-College of Science Dean Neal Smatresk
Morton had a big impact on one 60-something student.
No one outside the College of Science knows who the man is, though, because he declined all publicity. "He's very modest," Morton said. "I can't even tell you his name."
Such nontraditional students turn to Morton for advice almost every day.
"A lot of times when people come in, they're very unsure about whether it's even possible for them to pursue their goals," he said. "But at UTA, we routinely have people admitted to professional schools who are coming in from other careers."
Jane Wigginton's first career was in business, but in her early 30s she decided to volunteer at Dallas' Parkland Hospital where the director of Volunteer Services placed her in the emergency room.
"As soon as I set foot down there, I fell in love with it," she said. Eventually she began thinking about attending medical school, but she lacked the required science courses. The dean of students at U.T. Southwestern Medical School at Dallas recommended that she come to UTA.
Morton and the College of Science provided the coursework as well as plenty of encouragement. Today, Dr. Wigginton is a nationally acclaimed emergency room physician and an assistant professor of emergency medicine.
Morton's work with students like Dr. Wigginton was recognized by the University in 1998-99 when he was named Adviser of the Year. Later that year, the National Academic Advising Association awarded him its National Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Student Advising.
"Ed Morton is one of the reasons UTA has one of the best pre-med programs in the state," science Dean Neal Smatresk said. "When students enter our pre-med program, Ed does everything possible to facilitate their success. He arranges field trips to meet admission deans, he helps run the MDPA (pre-med society), he mentors students, and he makes sure that when they apply, they are in the strongest possible position to get into the school of their choice."
"His record clearly proves that he is extraordinarily good at what he does. In the past 20 years, we have sent about 1,000 students to medical and dental school. His can-do attitude and devotion to our students have made Ed one of the reasons our pre-med students can 'expect great things' at UTA."
Another of the students Morton and his staff helped navigate through the medical school application maze, Dr. David Troutman, is now Morton's own primary care physician.
It's one more example that students' dreams can come
true—and often do—with Ed Morton's help.