UMR Students Accepted to the American College of Cardiology Young Scholars Program

Authored By: wells438 03/03/2023

Two University of Minnesota Rochester students were accepted into the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Young Scholars Program. As part of this program, first year Joud Sakor and junior Sophia Moore will participate in a year long mentorship program to provide an introduction to the field of cardiology, open up research opportunities, accessibility to the yearly ACC conference and meet scientists from around the world. The two join current UMR student and ACC Young Scholar Enrique Alvirez-Gonzalez, a senior graduating this spring. The three students were asked to provide more information about their experiences. 


Joud Sakor

Portrait of Joud Sakor

Year at UMR: First year

Major: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences 


How did you hear about the ACC Young Scholars program?

I discovered the ACC Young Scholars Program through two sources: The Raptor Report and my public health professor.

What interested you in this program?

I was interested in the American College of Cardiology Young Scholars Program for several compelling reasons. My ambition to become a physician in the field of Cardiology and my personal experiences have fueled my interest in the program. Growing up in Syria, I was inspired by the doctors who remained during the 2011 Syrian Civil War to aid those in need, particularly when my brother was injured. This experience solidified my desire to follow in their footsteps and make a positive impact in health care. I am passionate about improving the lives of others and alleviating their pain through medical care. The ACC's focus on patient-centered care, education and advocacy aligns perfectly with my own values and career aspirations. I am particularly drawn to the ACC's interdisciplinary approach and its dedication to promoting cardiovascular research and innovation.

What are you most excited about being a part of the ACC Young Scholar?

I am thrilled to participate in the ACC program as it offers me a unique opportunity to connect with amazing cardiologists and gain insights into their experiences in the field at the ACC.24 event in Atlanta, GA. I am also looking forward to being paired with a highly experienced Cardiologist mentor who will provide valuable guidance as I shape my future career in medicine. Additionally, I am excited to embark on a year of hands-on research in cardiovascular disease and cardiology at Mayo Clinic. Lastly, I can't wait to attend the in-person "Camp Cardiac" event in Washington DC, where I will have the chance to acquire practical skills and deepen my understanding of cardiology.


Sophia Moore

Portrait of Sophia Moore

Year at UMR: Second year

Major: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences


How did you hear about the ACC Young Scholars program?

I heard about the ACC Young Scholars program through one of my mentors, Dr. Karina Gonzalez Carta. She is a Cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, and I was paired with her last year for the eMERGing leaders mentorship program. She thought this would be a great program to help me with my academic and career goals and encouraged me to apply.

What interested you in this program?

There are so many things about this program that interested me! First, I am very interested in learning about medicine in general as well as the field of Cardiology. The ACC Young Scholars Program seems to offer opportunities like no other when it comes to an in-depth learning experience involving Cardiology. I was also very interested in the mentorship this program offers as it will be invaluable to me as I navigate my path to medical school and beyond. Additionally, I am very excited about the research opportunities this program provides as research closely aligns with my academic and professional interests. Finally, I believe that the opportunities to attend Camp Cardiac in Washington, DC and ACC.24 in Atlanta, Georgia will produce incredible learning experiences! 

What are you most excited about being a part of the ACC Young Scholars program?

This is a hard question to answer because I am so excited for all of it! But, one thing I am definitely very excited about is being able to learn from such esteemed professionals in the field of Cardiology and medicine. I am excited to be able to gain research experience involving Cardiology alongside a mentor and gain more in-depth knowledge of the subject. Along with all of the medical professionals, I am also excited to meet and connect with other like-minded peers throughout this program.


Enrique Alvirez-Gonzalez

Portrait of Enrique Alvirez

Year at UMR: Fourth year

Major: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences


How did you hear about the ACC Young Scholars program?

I have a lot of friends and people that I know who work at Mayo Clinic in different areas of the Cardiology department that told me about this opportunity.

What interested you in this program?

The thing that interested me the most about this program was the opportunity to learn more about a career in cardiology. Also, thanks to being here in Rochester, I have the opportunity to do research at Mayo Clinic, shadowing and learning from doctors worldwide.

How has being an ACC Young Scholar impacted your education and time at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR)?

It has had an outstanding impact on my education at UMR. This opportunity has helped me depend on my knowledge in many areas I have studied at UMR. 

What advice would you give new students interested in applying?

One piece of advice I would give them is to try to enjoy and get the most out of this experience, this program is a great opportunity to learn new information and skills while networking not only at Mayo Clinic, but also in the different activities in which you can meet doctors, researchers, med students and residents from all over the US.