Alumnus discusses how HPU set him on path to med school

TJ CounceBROWNWOOD – April 5, 2018 – T.J. Counce, a 2016 Howard Payne University graduate from Lockhart, has been accepted into the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio. He will begin coursework next fall upon his graduation from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Counce, who was granted interviews at three medical schools, attributes a great deal of his success to the support he received from HPU personnel.

“The number one best thing, the biggest selling point of Howard Payne, is the faculty and staff,” he said. “It would be hard to find a more caring and dedicated group of professionals, and their mentorship has molded me into the student and learner I am today.”

At HPU, Counce was a double major in biochemistry and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

“As a double major, I was able to take part in a wide range of activities and programs I would have otherwise not experienced, and these were all featured heavily in my medical school applications,” he said. “Ultimately, you must stand out, and I had the opportunity in every application and interview to elaborate about my time at HPU and in the Academy.”

He also shared in interviews about the research he conducted through the Academy and HPU’s chemistry department.

“I truly feel this contributed to my acceptance,” he said. “Beyond that, taking a full 17- or 18-hour course load every semester has allowed me to successfully navigate graduate school. I have found that what you’ve done in the past contributes to your opportunities in the future, and my time at Howard Payne and in the Academy has without a doubt contributed to the path I am currently on.”

Counce first learned of HPU through his mother who was a student at the university her freshman year.

“Although she left to be closer to family, she loved her time at Howard Payne,” he said. “She encouraged me to apply. I met with an admission counselor at a college fair in San Marcos and that really piqued my interest.”

He encourages high school students considering HPU to meet with an admission counselor and tour campus.

“If you let yourself, Howard Payne is an excellent place to not only learn, but grow,” he said. “If you find yourself succeeding in environments that offer rich discussions, experiential learning, inquisitive exploration and enthusiastic support of students, then Howard Payne is an excellent school for you to consider.”

Counce has not yet committed to a specific specialty in medicine and is looking forward to third- and fourth-year clinical rotations to further refine his calling.

“I am pursuing medicine to help people and to help those who need it the most,” he said. “Wherever I feel that I can serve that goal the best and most effectively will ultimately be my choice of specialty.”

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Cutline: T.J. Counce, a 2016 HPU graduate, has been accepted into the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio.