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FSU Law, Medical Schools Among Nation’s Best For Hispanics

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CONTACT: Christi Morgan, College of Law, (850) 644-2788;
Ron Hartung, College of Medicine, (850) 645-9205;

By Jill Elish
Aug. 30, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University’s colleges of law and medicine are among the 10 best in the nation for Hispanics, according to Hispanic Business magazine.
The College of Law was ranked third among the nation’s law schools, while the College of Medicine was ranked seventh among medical schools.
“We’re pleased that Hispanic Business magazine has recognized Florida State University’s colleges of law and medicine as among the nation’s best for Hispanic students,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes. “The success we have had in recruiting and retaining Hispanic students reflects the university’s commitment to excellence and our dedication to encouraging a diverse community where all of our students can thrive.”
The magazine based its rankings on percentage of Hispanic student enrollment; percentage of Hispanic faculty members; percentage of degrees conferred upon Hispanics; and progressive programs aimed at increasing enrollment of Hispanic students.
Hispanics made up 10.2 percent of the law school’s enrollment and received 13 of the 272 law degrees (4.8 percent) awarded to the Class of 2011. Of the college’s full-time faculty, 11.4 percent was Hispanic.
“We’re proud of the wonderful environment for Hispanic students at our law school,” said Nancy Benavides, the College of Law’s associate dean for student affairs.
At the College of Medicine, Hispanics made up 14.1 percent of the college’s student body and earned six of the 114 medical degrees (5.3 percent) awarded in 2011. Five percent of the college’s full-time faculty was Hispanic.
The College of Medicine strives to create a diverse physician work force for Florida’s diverse population, including rural and inner-city residents, said College of Medicine Dean John P. Fogarty. 
“It is critical that we recruit outstanding students from backgrounds and areas who are most likely to serve rural and inner-city communities,” Fogarty said. “These rankings tell us that we are doing just that.”

More than 20 percent of the College of Medicine’s Class of 2016 was admitted by way of outreach programs. As a result, 37 percent of the class is minority — including 12 percent who are Hispanic.
Also of note: The school’s six regional campuses have nearly 200 Hispanic clinical faculty members. Many students participate in global medical trips to Central America, while others do rotations in high-density Hispanic migrant-worker areas such as Immokalee, Fla. The school offers conversational and medical Spanish classes as electives, and in 2010 the Association of Latino Medical Students was named FSU’s graduate student organization of the year.
“Although Tallahassee seems far from other cities in Florida with higher concentrations of Hispanics, the FSU College of Medicine is not ‘just Tallahassee,’” said Ricardo Gonzalez-Rothi, chair of the college’s Department of Clinical Sciences. “We are omnipresent throughout the state in our regional campuses. Our students like the atmosphere because they are valued and respected and because we value and respect our patients. I anticipate that FSU will become the top choice for Hispanics around the state.”