GALVESTON, Texas – When the 2019 University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Medicine graduates receive their degrees at Moody Gardens, they will be receiving advice from NASA astronaut Dr. Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor.

“We are honored to have Dr. Auñón-Chancellor address this year’s graduates,” said Dr. Charles Mouton, executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “She embodies everything that is great about UTMB, having shown that hard work and civic duty can lead to great success. I am sure she will inspire our graduates as they hear the story of her achievements as a physician and astronaut.”

Auñón-Chancellor is a member of NASA’s 20th astronaut class and most recently served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for expedition 56 and 57, June 6 through December 19, 2018.

Auñón-Chancellor received her medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.  She completed her aerospace and internal medicine residencies at UTMB where she also earned a master’s degree in public health.

According to Auñón-Chancellor it was during her time at UTMB, she was able to develop many leadership skills.

“During residency training at UTMB, you really learn to work as part of a team. You learn very quickly that sometimes you are the leader, sometimes you are the follower. That is ingrained into residents because you work in some difficult positions, it is very challenging work. I was able to hone my skills as a leader and made some of my best friends at UTMB.”

In addition to the message from Auñón-Chancellor, the ceremony will also include other time-honored UTMB traditions. The winner of the Gold-Headed Cane will be announced which is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating medical student along with the winners of this year’s Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni Award.

What: UTMB School of Medicine commencement
Where: Moody Gardens Convention Center
When: 10 a.m. Saturday June 1