Karthik Sampath, M.D.

Karthik Sampath, M.D., grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. His parents moved from India to the U.S. in 1975. He graduated second in his class, salutatorian, from Glenbard South High School and attended the University of Illinois, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in biology. He then came to Texas in 1997 to attend medical school at the University of Texas, Galveston.

Dr. Sampath was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident in his fourth year in medical school where he lost his left arm after he had already been matched into an orthopedic surgery residency. He was in an induced coma for eight days and spent 45 days in the same hospital where he was a medical student. He was still able to graduate on schedule with his class in June 2001. The trauma surgeon who saved his life, Dr. Bill Mileski, hooded him at graduation.

He took a year off after medical school and volunteered with doctors without borders in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to relearn how to practice medicine with one arm. After that, he took the series 7 and series 63 exams and joined Citigroup Smith Barney in Houston as a stockbroker/financial advisor. When the stock market crashed in 2008, he left the financial industry and moved to Dallas to start a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern.

After his residency he started his own medical practice and currently serves as co-medical director at Post Acute Medical (PAM) Rehabilitation of Allen. He works at several other rehabilitation hospitals that mainly treat patients with stroke, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputees and other orthopedic injuries and is currently working to bring an amputee program into the rehabilitation hospital.

Dr. Fred Fuentes

Dr. Fred Fuentes is originally from the west side of Corpus Christi, Texas. He began his professional career as a U.S. Army soldier with several war-tested military police battalions in the United States and in Latin America. Along his academic journey, he has celebrated being the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He has earned degrees and certificates from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Pierce County College, Del Mar College, Texas A&M University-Commerce, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Fuentes is a former director of health services, outreach coordinator and a USAID/Global Health Fellows Program Fellow with Mercy Corps International in Guatemala and Honduras where he provided HIV/AIDS education to post-war indigenous youth. He served as the lead international office for the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., before returning to the university in 2015.

At Commerce, he has served as a therapist, adjunct faculty and was able to co-create the Sophomore Year Experience, and the Latino American Mentorship Program, still a major part of student success. He currently serves as Executive Director for the Office of University Partnerships with the President’s Office with Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Among his most humbling services to his community are establishing scholarships, serving in various leadership capacities and being a foster parent to more than 15 children over 6 years, two of whom are now a permanent part of his family!

Corporal Vilai Thonginh

Corporal Vilai Thonginh is a member of our Dallas College Police Department and a retired sergeant special agent from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In his 16 years of service with the highway patrol service, Cpl. Thonginh was promoted to the position of sergeant before transferring to the position of sergeant special agent with the Criminal Investigation Division.

He is also a martial arts instructor and started training at 8 years old under Grand Master Chai Sirasoute. He also trained with the legendary Chuck Norris while assigned to his detail with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is also a Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu instructor with a Basic Instructor’s License Certification and a Master Peace Officer Certification.

Cpl. Thonginh promotes self-defense for kids of all ages, as well as anti-bullying through the martial arts. He currently holds a title of Master Vilai Thonginh in Punsopa Muay Thai.