2007 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Dr. Brenda Peet Rogers

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, 1982Dr. Brenda Peet Rogers

A kindergarten teacher is what Brenda Rogers aspired to be when she was growing up. But her high school science teacher, Louis Ashley Elbl, changed all that.

Elbl's passion for chemistry rubbed off on Rogers. When he saw her interest, and her gift for the subject, he planted a seed in her mind: what about a career in medicine? The seed began to sprout when Rogers visited with her own doctor. He asked her about her future plans and when she mentioned nursing school, he upped the ante: what about medical school?

Today, Rogers is a doctor of internal medicine and pediatrics for Truman Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital. She gains a great deal of satisfaction in taking care of patients. But her favorite part of the job is working with the students and residents at the hospitals.

"I love working with them and training them to be excellent physicians," she said.

In between her busy work schedule at the hospitals, Rogers works as the associate dean of student affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Among the many aspects of her position, she is charged with academic advising, career advising and the selection process for students who are entering the medical school.

Rogers said the positive learning atmosphere at Sumner Academy is what enabled her to succeed in high school. Having teachers who set high expectations, and ones who nurtured her and took an interest in her future, like Elbl, gave her reasons to believe in herself.

"Teachers open up a whole new spectrum of ideas for you," she said.

She wants today's students to take advantage of extracurricular activities and to try new things.

"Be courageous and try new things," she said. "Even if you find out you don't like something, that's great knowledge to have and at least you tried it."