Class of 2019: From Military to Medicine, Grad Discovers His Life’s Duty

Editor’s Note: Every Comet follows a distinct path to UT Dallas, and members of the Class of 2019 are no exception. A few soon-to-be fall graduates shared their thoughts about their journeys as they get ready to tackle new challenges after commencement.

Timothy Culbertson

Timothy Culbertson, 24, of Plano said he was drawn to UT Dallas specifically because of the healthcare studies program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. A transfer student and a U.S. Navy reservist, he found the courses offered at UT Dallas both rigorous and a perfect fit for his interest in medicine.

“My brother also came here [to UT Dallas], and I knew it was going to be challenging,” Culbertson said. “So I came prepared to study.”

He found a second home on campus through the UT Dallas Military and Veteran Center (MVC), where he worked as a Peer Advisor for Veteran Education (PAVE). His passion for serving in the military, he said, had a tremendous impact on his chosen career field — medicine.

After graduation, Culbertson will begin his studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s McGovern Medical School next fall. His primary goal is to serve veterans.

Culbertson will also soon celebrate another milestone before heading to medical school — he’s getting married in June.

What will you miss most about UTD?

The MVC. I’ve made good friends, and probably my best times and best memories at UT Dallas were hanging out there.

Would you rather have to retake a final exam or be Temoc for a day?

It depends on the final exam. If it’s one I’m prepared for, I love the post-exam feeling. But if I’m less prepared? I’d rather be Temoc for a day.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’ve never pulled an all-nighter while at UTD — I always got at least four hours of sleep.

What are the best ways to survive a Monday?

Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis.

What’s the most Instagrammable spot on campus?

I don’t have an Instagram, but if I did, it would be the main mall by the fountains.

What’s the first thing you’ll do to celebrate your graduation?

I’m probably going to spend time with family and eat a nice, juicy steak.

What accomplishment/project are you most proud of from your time at UTD?

I would say mentoring both through PLTL (Peer-Led Team Learning) and PAVE. I had a lot of good mentoring when I first started here, and it was nice to pay it forward and give back to the UT Dallas community.

UT Dallas alumni make their mark wherever they go. How will you make yours?

After medical school, I really want to work with veterans, provide humanitarian aid overseas, serve my country and serve those who have served it as well.


Class of 2019

Literature Grad Is Thinker at Heart

Communication Disorders Grad Finds Right Balance at UTD

PhD Lights Way for Women To Pursue Computer Science

ATEC Graduate Relishes Quest in Video Game Design

Healthcare Management Program Combines Grad’s 2 Loves

Biology Graduate Builds Career Path in Public Health

Economics Grad Demonstrates High Degree of Diligence

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].