Dell Health Undergraduate Scholars


The Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar (DHUS) program is a unique part-time research opportunity for one undergraduate student interested in public health, community building, and/or obesity prevention. The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), conducts research and provides programs that promote healthy living for children, their families and their communities.

The DHUS program provides funding for students to work and gain public health research experience. As part of the program, the Center accepts one undergraduate student from Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University, or Concordia University to work 15 hours/week from during the fall and spring semesters, with the possibility of extending the internship through the summer.

During this period, the Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar is expected to:

  • Be trained in public health research using Center project resources
  • Assist with Center community events, academic forums, and associated activities
  • Provide support to faculty and staff with health policy research
  • Assist with community health research and programs
  • Assist with a project or Center activity related to the student’s public health interest
  • Receive training, resource, and guidance from faculty and staff mentors whose research aligns with the student’s interests
  • Participate in administrative tasks, in order to be fully trained as a public health professional

The Center Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar Program is led by Dr. Deanna Hoelscher, Dr. Alexandra van den Berg, and Melissa Campos-Hernandez. The candidate for this position will be reviewed and selected using a competitive process.

Applicant eligibility:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Undergraduate student enrolled at Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University, or Concordia University during the school year (preferably entering junior or senior year)
  • Available to work 15 hours/week during the work day (8:00am-5:00pm) from September to May (with possibility of extending through summer)

Contact and Application Information

The application period for the next academic year is currently closed. Application dates will be posted once they are available.

For any questions about the program, please contact Melissa Campos-Hernandez at Melissa.A.CamposHernandez@uth.tmc.edu.

Current 2022 Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar


Aaron Whittaker - Aaron is a recent graduate of Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology. While earning his undergraduate work, Aaron expressed his passion for being a vessel of change in many ways. He was a member of the Huston-Tillotson NAACP Health Committee which advocated for health justice for people in the greater Austin area, especially people of color. Aaron also helped the chapter become involved with other like-minded groups such as Social Justice Solutions, Texas Rising, and the Austin Justice Coalition. As a former student athlete, Aaron has recently found joy in more low-intensity exercise and reading. (He is currently reading Medical Apartheid (Washington, 2007).) Over the years, Aaron has also been involved in many urban farming projects as well as coaching youth in physical activity and education. He acknowledges his journey in the fight for community healing as one that he has been on for a while but still has so much to learn about, which is why he is seeking to obtain a Master’s in Public Health in the near future.

Past Dell Health Undergraduate Scholars

  • Kelsi Peterson (2021-2022), St. Edward's University
  • Tytiana Matthews (2021), Huston-Tillotson University
  • Alejandra Rueda (2020-2021), Concordia University
  • Cristobal Garcia-Quiroz (2019-2020), St. Edward's University
  • Yolanda Guzman (2018-2019), St. Edward's University
  • Jessica Marquez (2017-18), St. Edward's University 
  • Jackie Ortuno (2016-17), St. Edward's University 
  • Vanessa Lerma (2015-16), St. Edward's University
  • Timothy Cooley (2014-15), Huston-Tillotson University