Kim Salas Harris is the Associate Director for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) at Marquette University. HCOP is a federally funded program that provides educational opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in health professions. As the Associate Director, she leads programming and recruitment efforts. Prior to working with HCOP, she coordinated a community-based participatory research project funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. The research project targeted African American women in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood of Milwaukee to promote healthy living. This position allowed Salas Harris to work within the community, conduct research and disseminate findings through presentations and academic publications. She also worked as an undergraduate admissions counselor for Marquette University, primarily focusing on diversity recruitment within Milwaukee. Salas Harris research interests include community health, urban populations, race and ethnicity, urban education, and gender and sexuality.


Yarlian Vazquez joined the Health Careers Opportunity Program at Marquette University in October 2016 as the coordinator. She is a first-generation college student, who received her bachelor’s in sociology in 2013 from Marquette University, through the Educational Opportunity Program. During her time at Marquette she worked in the admissions office as a student worker with the Multicultural Outreach recruitment counselors. Since then she has worked in higher education, non-profit education, and public schools. Yarlian is a Milwaukee native and can personally relate to the importance of having college support programs to aid in the success of students. She is now looking to obtain her master’s in Educational Policy and Leadership – Student Affairs in Higher Education.


Ashley Hester is the Program Coordinator for Rural Community Outreach in the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). As rural community program coordinator she coordinates programming and recruits students to HCOP who live in a rural setting. Ashley’s second population of focus for recruitment is veterans. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Alverno College which is also in Milwaukee. Her degree is in Communications and she has two minors in Adult Education and Psychology.


Ms. Amber May is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Marquette University School of Dentistry. She came to Marquette nearly two years ago from Temple University in Philadelphia as a student service counselor in the TRIO programs. Prior to her work at Temple, Amber served at her Alma Mater Anderson University in Indiana, as a Resident Hall Director for two years. Amber was trained in the field of social work upon graduating her undergraduate studies. She worked as a social worker for nearly seven years as well. Amber was a first generation student, who like many, had to trail blaze without guidance and trust mentors to help her navigate the complexities of higher education. Her passion is supporting, developing and mentoring students. This is her way of paying forward vital tokens of wisdom and support to future generations! Amber believes in the potential of the students she encounters and works diligently to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to succeed.


Dr. Lawrence Pan, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is the Chair of Marquette’s Department of Physical Therapy since 1996. He worked for 22 years as a staff physical therapist at Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee practicing in joint mobilization and arthritis rehabilitation. Dr. Pan maintains an active research program in central control of breathing. He is funded by research grants from the NIH and the Veteran's Administration and studies the role of brainstem nuclei in breathing responses during exercise, hypoxia and CO2 breathing.

Dr. Pan has published more than 90 peer-reviewed research articles and eight book chapters. He is a strong supporter of PT research and mentored Marquette students in initiating the Marquette Challenge, a nation-wide effort to student challenge to raise money for the Foundation for PT Research. The Challenge has raised over three million dollars for physical therapy research since 1989. Because of Dr. Pan’s commitment to address health disparities, he holds several federal grants from the US Department of Health and Human Services including a three-year, $1.9 million Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) grant to recruit and retain disadvantaged students in health professions. With Dr. Pan as the HCOP Director, Marquette offers a wide variety of pre-college and summer programs designed to educate and retain disadvantaged students in PT.

Dr. Pan has been honored with seven national awards in physical therapy including the Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. In 2010 he was awarded the American Physical Therapy Association’s highest honor, the Catherine Worthingham Fellowship for longstanding and significant contributions to the profession of physical therapy.

Dr. Baker Lab


For more information about Marquette's Health Careers Opportunity Program, please contact us at (414) 288-5505 or via email.

Para más información sobre el programa de verano en Marquette University, favor de contactarnos al 414-288-5505 o por correo electrónico.

Program Staff

Kim Harris - Director
Amber May - Director
Ashley Hester - Program Coordinator - (414) 288-1624
Yarlian Vazquez - Program Coordinator - (414) 288-3379

Program Brochures

CSEP Undergraduate Brochure
PESP PostGraduate Brochure