• Dr. Daniel Vicencio
  • Dr. Daniel Vicencio
  • Rutgers College '88
  • Major(s): Biological Sciences (Physiology)
  • Minor(s): History

Activities: RC Preceptor, RC Judicial Council, Alpha Phi Omega, RAPS (Rutgers Association of Philippine Students), Henry Rutgers Honors Program

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
I was lucky to have been awarded a scholarship to attend Rutgers from the Rutgers Alumni Association of Chicago.  As a Midwesterner I was curious about attending an East coast university. Rutgers was an ideal place for me to expand my academic and life horizons. I joined the Henry Rutgers Honors Program in my sophomore year and the Honors Seminars brought me in close contact with thoughtful and interesting teachers and fellow Rutgers students. Completing my Honors Thesis work with Dr. Henry John-Alder gave me a love of research as a process and endeavor.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I came from a family of healthcare professionals and always knew I wanted to be a physician but was fascinated with history and specifically the history of medicine and underrepresented ethnic and racial communities.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? 
After Rutgers, I returned to Chicago for medical school and residency training in internal medicine at Northwestern University. Presently, I am the chief medical officer for quality for a multi-specialty medical group in Chicago. As a practicing primary care physician for over 25 years, I have had extensive experience in serving economically and socially disadvantaged communities. In addition, I have held clinical leadership positions in a number of healthcare organizations in the area. My clinical research interests involve the study of health literacy as patient age and care coordination in the Chinese community here in Chicago. I also have been active in a number of not for profit social, religious, and civic organizations in the Chicago area. My husband and I live in the Edgewater neighborhood on the northside of Chicago with our Irish Setter, Maggie. We have two adult daughters, one of whom lives in Chatham, NJ with her husband and our two granddaughters. During the summers, our family spends time at our lake home in Center Lovell, ME to get some time away from the city life.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
My greatest professional accomplishments have been accompanying my mostly low income Hispanic and African American patients through their daily health struggles. I get a lot of satisfaction being able to be their voice in arenas where their voices are often overlooked or never heard. On the personal front, my most cherished accomplishments are having found a wonderful husband and maintaining great close relationships with numerous family and friends.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
The scientific part of me loved my Systems Physiology class and senior research project in reptilian endocrinology with Dr. Henry John-Alder but the historian part of me loved taking the History of Science class with the late Dr. Philip Pauly.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Engaging. Enlightening. Satisfying.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
Rutgers and the Honors Program education I received greatly fostered my intellectual curiosity about all sorts of topics, some related to my chosen profession and others not so much. The Honors Program showed me how to make connections of sometimes disparate ideas and events in a way that increased my understanding of the situations in which I found myself. The social and intellectual environment at Rutgers exposed me to so many different people and ideas, some of which I could never have had where I was raised.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Don't be afraid to question what you know and how/why you came to know it. A confidently examined body of knowledge gives you more of the ability to offer it in the service of others.

Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.


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