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Max Cruz, '08, named as 2015 Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship recipient

The Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships, "consist of five scholarships given to outstanding students entering their third year of medical school who have shown leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care and have demonstrated leadership efforts in addressing educational, societal, and health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Each recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship." One of this year's recipients is Max Cruz, '08, who was profiled in the Association of American Medical Colleges magazine:

Max Cruz '08Maximilian (Max) J.V. Cruz, a third-year medical student at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, N.J., has a deep commitment to community service and working with underserved popqlations. He first became involved with community outreach when he volunteered for a high school service trip to Appalachia, where he saw first-hand the effects of poverty and iriadequate access to health care. He also participated in Aim High, a program designed to provide inner-city St. Louis high school students with an intensive summer session of tutoring to better prepare them for college.

Born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, Max received his BA in Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, he volunteered at St. Anthony of Padua in Camden, N.J., as part of a summer service learning project. There, he assisted with an HIV/AIDS ministry, helped community members organize to better coordinate with local law enforcement, and held a free sports camp for neighborhood and parish children.

During the year between graduation from Notre Dame and the beginning of his medical studies, Max spent four months volunteering at Santisirno Sacramento Parish in Piura, Peru. He assisted nurses in the free clinic and hospice, joined nurses in making house calls to deliver medical attention to those who had no means of accessing care, served as a translator for visiting missionaries, and developed public health information sessions in Piura and nearby villages.

At Cooper Medical School, Max has already logged more than 250 hours of community service. He was a mentor to a Camden high school student as part of the Camden After-School Medical Program (CAMP), which exposes at-risk students to medical education and careers. He is a founding board member of Tutor Time, which he and two other Cooper medical students initiated in 2013. One of the few after-school options in Camden, the program has grown to include more than 20 Cooper Medical School volunteers.

Max is a board member of both the Cooper Rowan Clinic, a free, student-run facility serving those who lack health insurance, and the Camden Area Health Education Center, a nonprofit that has served the citizens of Camden for more than 35 years. In addition, he is the founder of Seminaries de Salud, a program that offers a workshop series in Spanish to provide Camden's citizens with the awareness and tools they need to manage their own health and wellness. He is also collecting data to identify gaps in health care access among Camden's Latino subgroups.

Max served as the vice president of Cooper Medical School's Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) chapter, which seeks to educate citizens about the health care process and recruit Latino students into health care professions. He currently serves as the CIO on the LMSA-Northeast's Executive Council.

Max hopes to specialize in pediatrics and use all the knowledge gained from his experiences to best serve his patients, both mentally and physically.

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


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