Andrea Holgado, Ph.D.

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
2013 Mentors

Andrea Holgado, Ph.D.

Andrea Holgado, Ph.D., Mentor of the Year 2013Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Weatherford
College students and colleagues
Matches since 2008

We are pleased to share praise and comments from several of Dr. Holgado’s students and co-workers.

“Watching Dr. Andrea Holgado over the last four years work with her mentees is so rewarding to all of her students and colleagues. She truly cares about not only her students’ but also her colleagues’ success. I feel blessed to have her not only as co-worker but a true honest friend.

"In addition to teaching general biology and cell biology and developing a research-intensive cell biology course, she has supervised undergraduate research and developed a self-sustainable research program in neurosciences since coming to SWOSU in 2008. She has mentored over 21 college students and two high school students.

"Her mentees have submitted publications to peer-review journals, published abstracts, made oral presentations and presented posters on their research at regional, national and international meetings. Many of them have placed in the top three in various competitions.

"She is responsible for encouraging her mentees to apply and be accepted into medical school and graduate school at Oklahoma University Health Science Center.”

Debbie A. Flaming, age 30+, four-year-match
Administrative Assistant
Department of Biological Sciences at SWOSU

“While I have had a number of professors throughout my undergraduate career, I have had only a few mentors. It is these mentors that touch lives as teachers and friends, and it is in Dr. Andrea Holgado that I have found such a mentor, counselor and friend.

"Before meeting Dr. Holgado, I, unsure of what I truly wanted to do with my life, had little direction in my studies. Her passion and love for her work and students sparked my interest in the biological sciences. Eventually, I found medicine, and working in Dr. Holgado’s research lab as a biomedical researcher in the neurosciences has only reaffirmed my interest in medicine. Soon to be a senior with a 4.0 GPA and applying to medical school, I credit much of my successes to Dr. Holgado’s wisdom and direction, for she sparked my interests in the sciences and guided me along the way. Each of the 12 students that work in our research lab and the countless other students that have either worked for or been taught by Dr. Holgado can attest that she has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all.”

Jamin Brown, age 21, three-month match
Research Lab Assistant

“Dr. Holgado inspires all those she encounters and has greatly impacted my life. I am a first-generation high school graduate and college student, and the personal struggles of being a female minority and mother of two are difficult at times. Thanks to Dr. Holgado, however, the goals I have set for myself have never been higher. Before her, I knew that I loved biology and science, but I had no idea how I could apply that enthusiasm for science into a future for myself and my family. She has taught me that my limitations are only those that I set for myself and shown me that with hard work and perseverance I can follow my passion for science to the highest level.

"A mentor should be inspiring, talented, patient and committed; all of which describe Dr. Holgado. I have always been told, ‘Choose your mentors wisely, and a great mentor will help you find the best in yourself,’ and that is the case with every person who chooses to allow Dr. Holgado to be a part of her life.

"The assets she brings to SWOSU cannot be measured, and those whom she influences are forever grateful for the time and commitment she gives. I could not have chosen a better mentor, advisor, teacher and friend than Dr. Andrea Holgado.”

Ashley Rodriguez, age 29, two-year match
Research Mentee

“Dr. Holgado gave me the opportunity to perform research to benefit me. Trying to get into dental school, I needed a way to show a sense of manual dexterity. She taught me how to do micromanipulations and microinjections, which not only introduced me to her research but also benefited me in improving my application for dental school. I have researched under the supervision of three other professors, and this is by far the most engaging experience between mentor and student.”

Monte Stone II, age 24, one-year match
Research Lab Assistant

“Dr. Andrea Holgado was the first person who gave me the opportunity to pursue a career in research. At a time when I lacked research experience and laboratory skills, she invested the time necessary to train me in the field of neuroscience. In the beginning, I struggled with many of the basic practices of the job, but she continued to work with me, and often, even though she had a family at home with whom she would rather have been, she dedicated her weekends to be here in the lab helping me. Now, through her continued guidance, I have developed many of the skills required to be a good scientist.

"She has also put her reputation on the line when she provided me a letter of recommendation to several summer research programs, of which I was accepted into IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). Currently, she is writing a recommendation to graduate school. Today because of the opportunity Dr. Holgado provided me, I have a promising career to which to look forward. Thank you, Dr. Holgado.”

Nathan Bernhardt, age 27, one-year-match

“Dr. Holgado has helped me as well as other lab members become the scientists we are today. Her enthusiasm and leadership role has inspired not only me but the research team as a whole. Our lab is growing more successful because of her. She truly deserves more than what she has received for all the late nights, long meetings and endless issues.

"No one can replace Dr. Holgado, an outstanding mentor, friend and inspiration. No one can fill her shoes. Whenever I needed Dr. Holgado the most, she never hesitated to assist me with anything. Even when I felt I was not good enough to think about attending graduate school, her support and encouragement has changed my whole game plan. I have learned to build up my confidence both as a research assistant and Biological Concepts Lab instructor via examining her leadership, superior knowledge and vision. Her direction and advice has been extremely beneficial to me. I am blessed to be a part of Dr. Holgado’s research lab team and honored for this opportunity to work with her.

"I thank Dr. Holgado for her confidence in me, guidance and encouragement, the opportunities provided, the patience extended and for all that she does. I am truly grateful for her support.”

LaKesha Seals, age 25, two-year match
Research Lab Associate

“Dr. Holgado has been my undergraduate research mentor for two years now. Seeing how she interacts with all of her students and her enthusiasm to teach and lead students has profoundly touched me. She has taught me, cautioned and directed me, and even when I thought I had failed at something, she motivated me to move forward. Her dedication to her mentees, therefore, should not go unnoticed.”

Claudia Nkeih, age 23, two-year match

“Dedicated wholeheartedly to her job, Dr. ‘H’ doesn’t treat her job as a job really. Rather she treats it like a hobby or pastime. You can tell she truly loves what she does by how she treats us, her mentees, like a family, not like a job.”

Timothy Stein, age 19, one-and-a-half years

We could go on and on…

Front:  Ashley Rodriquez; Dr. Andrea Holgado, Mentor of the Year; Claudia Nkeih; Debbie Flaming; and LaKesha Seals
Front: Ashley Rodriquez; Dr. Andrea Holgado, Mentor of the Year; Claudia Nkeih; Debbie Flaming; and LaKesha Seals
Back: Dr. Jody Maness; Jamin Brown; Monte Stone II; Caleb Hubbard; Timothy Stein; Tyler McLemore; and Dr. Randy Beutler, Southwestern OSU president and Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence trustee