What attracts you to biology; short, and long-term goals?
I’ve been attracted to the field of biology, or more specifically biochemistry, for the greater part of my life. The field allows us to understand the very nature of life at the most basic levels. It is amazing how much we can learn about our world, ourselves, and the very meaning of life itself through biology, forming bridges to a diverse spectrum of varied fields such as philosophy, mathematics, and even history.
I’ll be beginning medical school at Wayne State University beginning the fall of 2009 while participating in the U.S. Air Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Upon receipt of my MD, I intend to enter into a residency in family Medicine and afterwards practice as a family physician in the U.S. Air force.
Has a school the size of LSSU made a difference?
The small size of LSSU has always been an attracting quality. Having the advantage to learn directly under qualified professors, and to even work directly with them certainly has a significant academic advantage.
What determined you to come to lssu? Any unexpected benefits of a downstate student?
As I was researching potential colleges, the exceptional scholarship package that LSSU was willing to offer me (and it being renewable each year), made mine a quick and easy decision. While there were concerns that the research opportunities may not be as available at a smaller school (such things being of vital importance to any pre-professional student), I was pleased to find this to not be a problem. Because of the small class sizes, I found professors could recognize students on their merit, and more than eager to work with students to provide impressive opportunities.
As a student from the Detroit area, I found that going to LSSU gave me the opportunity to move away from home, and live independently while putting myself through school. Such an experience maintains important value (especially in today’s culture of dependency), and could not typically be accomplished otherwise, without paying excessive out of state tuition bills.
Are there any pre-professional experiences that you have enjoyed so far in your program?
In addition to my classes, research, and work, I have found opportunities to gain essential volunteer opportunities at War Memorial Hospital ’s emergency room while gaining invaluable medical experience.
Have you had a neat moment that makes all of the studying and working worthwhile?
Beyond the satisfaction of excelling in a difficult field, the most exciting moment of my academic career was learning of my acceptance into medical school ( Wayne State ) this past November. In the State of Michigan , over 60% of medical applicants fail to be accepted into any program, so to know that I managed to succeed in such a competitive endeavor is of a magnitude beyond comprehension (not to mention the satisfaction of being able to pursue my ideal profession in life).
Role of honors program in academic experience at lssu?
While at times, it didn’t look like I could manage to fit in the necessary courses for the honors program into my schedule, I found the program (namely Dr. Swedene) to be more than helpful, making great efforts to make such a pursuit possible for me.
The program, itself, offered me the opportunity to study subjects I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to study. Like most competitive pre-med students, I found interest in a myriad of topics outside of my primary fields of biology and chemistry, and the honors program allowed me the excuse to study a diversity of material, gain a broader perspective of human existence, and ultimately be a better-rounded individual. Far too many students become trapped taking courses that only help count towards one’s major, the Honors program allows for a more enlightening university experience, not to mention adding a competitive edge to any graduate or professional applicant.
Summer internships, jobs, etc.?
I’ve spent my summers working full time as a student manager with LSSU’s Food Service. This provided me an opportunity to make some extra money for such luxuries as paying bills and rent while allowing me another leadership role on campus.
In addition to work, I’ve found the summer an excellent time to accrue volunteer/community service hours with Habitat for Humanity as well as War Memorial Hospital .
I’ve been working year round with LSSU’s Food Service as well as a tutor of biology, chemistry and physics in the Learning Center.
What are some of your outside interests?
I’ve always enjoyed learning about nearly every subject. My top interests include: biochemistry, immunology, and cellular physiology; Early American History (especially the American Revolution and the establishment of the Constitution and Federalism); Human evolution and anthropology; Roman philosophy and history; and early English literature.
Over the more recent years I’ve developed an appreciation of literature, especially the work of Robert Louis Stevenson and such pieces as Kidnapped, Catriona, The Black Arrow, and The Master of Ballantrae.
Any scholarships you have been awarded with?
Faculty Association Academic Excellence Scholarship (awarded April 2008)
Philip Hart Memorial Scholarship (yearly since fall 2005)
LSSU’s Michigan Valedictorian Scholarship (fall 2005, renewed yearly)