2012 Scholars

Rafael basa

Rafael Gerald-Masiglat Basa

Classification: Junior
Graduation Year: 2016
College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Major: Biology
High School: Michael E DeBakey High School
Hometown: Houston, TX

About Me

I am a Filipino-American, the first in my immediate family to attend a college in the United States in addition to being the elder son of two. As a result, much is expected of me by my family and I do not intend to disappoint. I carry a determination which borders on hard-headedness. Oftentimes, I throw the combined force of my wit and energy against problems until I surpass an obstacle or I am spent; admittedly, I have a problem with taking alternative approaches to a subject. I have a diffuse array of interests including the tracking of internet-based cultural memetic phenomenon, history regarding Shogunate-era Japan, and the literary works of cosmic-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. I enjoy video gaming and looking up curious facts regarding the physiology and anatomy of the human body. Through my different interests I have noticed a recurring question of morality and its relationship to the natural world. On the matter I present one quote from Morgan Freeman as Detective Lt. William Somerset in the movie Se7en which inspires me always: “’The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.”

Campus and Community Involvement

I am a dedicated usher at the Gethsemane Campus of the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church where I have been a member of the congregation for over six years. I tally congregation attendance weekly, preform the Service of Tithes and Offerings, and make sure that both newcomer and member feel welcome before and during Service. I am a member of the Cougar Kendo organization and am working hard to become a capable kendoist and I find the physical training to complement the kendo philosophy in teaching self-awareness and introspection.

Awards and Honors

At DeBakey High School for Health Professions, I was in the National Beta Honors society for four years and participated in leadership and fundraising events for the organization. In addition, I was a member of the Health Occupation Students of America and represented my school in a local, regional, state, and national level in the Parliamentary Procedure competitive event, winning 2nd place at national level in Junior year. I have received awards in excellence in English and Psychology from my high school and I graduated in the 10% out of a competitive class of 191.

Study Abroad

I have taken previously a Spanish course in high school and do not intend to take a languages course in University. Although I appreciate the different perspective on health care, medical practice,  and cultural views on medicine foreign study would yield, I place studying abroad as ultimately unnecessary for my intended major.

Research

The research which interests me relates to the use of genetic therapy as possible remedies for congenital disease and cancer. I have researched the DNA repair mechanism of Tardigrada at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in the laboratory of dermatologist Dr. Victor Prieto alongside his son as part of a high school science project, which we presented at the city-wide level and received an award from the A&M Entomological Society. My experience in the M.D. Anderson research facilities encourages me to pursue a profession in and around the medical field.

Future Endeavors

I plan on attending medical school in post-university and getting a medical degree in order to attain a residency at a hospital within the Texas Medical Center. I intend to specialize in either anesthesiology or general internal medicine as a physician, perhaps as in the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital.