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Austin College alum makes inspirational return

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Austin College alum Dr. Kole Roybal was the keynote speaker at the Women's Health and Cancer Forum. (KTEN) Austin College alum Dr. Kole Roybal was the keynote speaker at the Women's Health and Cancer Forum. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Returning to speak at your former college is a big honor, and that honor wasn't lost on Austin College alum Dr. Kole Roybal.

"It's actually a bit surreal," he said at the school's annual Women's Health and Cancer Forum.

Roybal graduated from Austin College in 2005. He is now the assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

But on Tuesday, he returned to Austin College.

"So many people here really influenced my career in science, and I wanted to come back and be able to talk about my work and hopefully influence the next generation of scientists," Roybal said.

One of those influencers was biology Professor Lance Barton.

"To have an opportunity to bring him back and to share for the next generation of students to see an Austin College product... an Austin College alum... who can talk about science at this level and can show them really great things and what you can do with this career, who is quite honestly still very young... I thought would be really inspiring for our students," Barton said.

But this forum's spotlight wasn't only on Kole Roybal.

"It's the opportunity for our students here at Austin College who have been doing research and learning about cancer biology all semester to actually talk about what they've learned, to share their results, and to show the excitement and passion they have to learn new things," Barton said.

The forum also gave students like Austin College sophomore Brian Nguyen the chance to show off their hard work.

"It's really nerve wracking, but I enjoy it," he said. "It's fun to see and interact with people. It's different from a presentation, because you're actually getting that one-on-one interaction."

The Women's Health and Cancer Forum is an annual event at Austin College, and has been sponsored by the Discovery Foundation of Dallas since 2015.

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