Category: News

Health professions news from Michigan Technological University.

Reapplying to Medical School: How to overcome Rejection and Improve your Application

Tessa’s First Application to Medical School

Hello, I am Tessa Mlinar. I graduated from Michigan Tech with a degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Biochemistry in the spring of 2022. I have always been interested in the medical field. After seeking out various medical experiences, such as shadowing, working in a brain injury facility, and studying to become an EMT, I found that I was most drawn to the work of a doctor. So I did what every undergraduate student does and continued finding meaningful exposure to the field, studying hard to pass all pre-requisite classes and scrolling through way too many pre-med Reddit pages.

After months of preparing my application and not-so-patiently waiting to hear from schools, I faced the hard truth that I was not accepted to any medical schools for the 2022 cycle. So I did once again what any undergraduate student would do: panic. This new realization that I would not be attending medical school after graduating was honestly terrifying. I felt lost, and in this panic, I took the first job I was offered in vaccine development. This job only made me more sure that I would not be happy in any other career than medicine. I was determined to reapply and get into medical school the following cycle, which is easier said than done.

Tessa’s Tips for Reapplying

There are many things that I found helpful in pursuing this goal. I hope other students can find it helpful as well.

1. Utilize Your Resources:

There are many resources available to students to help them prepare for applying to a pre-health program. It is easy to scroll through a multitude of medical school preparation websites, Youtube channels, and discussion boards to find information on a wide variety of topics. Michigan Tech offers many invaluable resources, such as knowledgeable advisors and supportive classmates. I spoke with the Pre-Health Director, Nicole Roeper, about all areas of my application, including reviewing many drafts of my personal statement and completing practice interview questions. In addition, I found much support through the peer-led MCAT study group in knowing that I was not alone in this difficult time. Pre-health is often a competitive environment, and it is easy to think you are the only one struggling. I found it very helpful to have a group of pre-health friends to vent to about the hard steps, and I found many were getting stuck in the same place as I was.

Beyond online, MTU, and personal resources, I highly recommend looking for application advice from pre-health programs you are denied from. Unfortunately, not all programs offer this, but the ones that do can precisely pinpoint where you should improve for future cycles. One school I spoke with was kind enough to walk through each section and give me input on how I could better label each experience I had, what order they review the application in, and even provided tips on when it is best to submit each piece. Getting this feedback directly from the faculty that makes acceptance decisions is incredibly valuable and leads me to my next piece of advice.

2. Understand Where You Are Lacking:

After spending months working on your application and submitting what you believe is the best representation of yourself, it is understandably hard to look at it critically after you hit submit. By speaking with advisors, peers, and the universities that offer application feedback, you may see new areas that you can work to improve on your application. For schools without personal feedback, I found it helpful to look at the mission statements and visions of the schools I was interested in. This gave me a good place to start in seeing what kind of experiences these programs look for and ensuring that I align with their mission. Personally, I found that my GPA and MCAT score was lower than the average applicant’s and that my hands-on patient experience was limited. From here, I set a realistic goal GPA to achieve by graduation, took time off of work to study and retake the MCAT, and added on new patient-facing experiences such as COVID swabbing and volunteer EMT work. You do not have to wait until you are re-applying for this step. I would recommend looking for the areas in which your application is lacking long before you begin applying so that you have time to ensure you are a well-rounded applicant the first time.

3. Remember Your Reason Why:

I cannot emphasize this enough, but remember why you are doing this! Applying to any health program takes time, money, and energy. Remembering why I am doing this has helped me overcome a lot of the struggle that comes with rejection and hardships throughout the process.

Everyone’s journey to the medical field is different, and often only acceptances are spoken about rather than the many rejections that come with it. In addition to sharing my own struggles here, I am happy to share that I have been accepted to medical school and will begin my journey to become a doctor in the fall.

The most important thing I can share from my experience is that failure is not final. When I spoke with the many doctors I work with about getting into school in my second year of applying, many shared their stories of taking two or three, or even more, years to get into schools themselves. Every person has a different path to medicine, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your path ends up differently than you had planned.

Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship Awarded to Three for 2022-2023

The Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship is a multi-year scholarship established to provide material support for students who are interested in pursuing medical school. This scholarship wishes to honor Lt. Col. Robert N. Nottoli USAF (Ret.) and Samuel C. Hon M.D. F.A.C.S, both of whom believed that quality education was the gateway to success in service to others. The couple from California who established the scholarship (although not Tech graduates) have chosen to invest in the University’s growing health sciences area.

Preference is being given to Copper Country students in the hope that recipients who pursue becoming physicians will return to the Copper Country to practice and provide sustainable care to citizens of the region. This year’s recipients are all minoring in Pre-Health, with a pre-med focus. The three 2022- 2023 Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship recipients share what the award means to them and their future medical careers.

Sarah Rowe
Sarah Rowe majors in Biomedical Engineering with a Pre-Health minor

Traveling Long Distances for Orthopedic Surgeries Inspires Biomedical Engineering Major Sarah to Help Rural Communities

How did you get interested in medicine?

My interest in medicine grew for a few different reasons! My Grandpa was an ER doctor and growing up my parents talked a lot about him, so my interest in becoming a doctor started when I was very young. Growing up I was also an athlete and suffered many different injuries so I spent a LOT of time at doctor’s appointments. This exposure to the medical field continued to pique my interest and I set my sights on becoming a doctor who works with athletes!

What made you interested in rural medicine specifically?

I grew up as an athlete in Houghton and have experienced firsthand the need to travel to receive orthopedic surgeries. My goal is to eventually help bridge that gap for athletes and everyone else in rural communities!

How has this scholarship helped you achieve your goals?

Thanks to the Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship, I’ve been able to spend more time focusing on my academics and less time on working which has been hugely beneficial, especially during a critical time in my academic career as I’m beginning to look into Medical School applications. 

The Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship Will Help Medical Lab Science Major Ella Achieve Her Dream of Working Directly With People and Improving Outcomes

How did you get interested in medicine?

Ella Kunitzer
Ella Kunitzer majors in Medical Lab Science with a Pre-Health minor

To be honest, I have always had an interest in medicine, I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to direct it.  Coming into college, I was thinking I would go into genetic research.  The further I got into my degree, the more I realized that I wanted to work directly with people.  I started babysitting and learned I loved children.  Then I received my Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) license and a new job and realized I had found exactly where I wanted to be: with people. I am currently in my third year, and about a year out from applying to medical school.  I am working as a CNA and shadowing a midwife, both of which solidified my belief that medicine is the right field for me.

What made you interested in rural medicine specifically?

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in cities.  I have lived in the suburbs for most of my life, but I also spent a couple of years living in big cities in another country.  I was always amazed by the easy access we had to medicine wherever we were. 

Living in another country, I also had the opportunity to see how the people lived outside of the city.  I have one distinct memory of visiting an orphanage in rural China when I was about seven years old and meeting children my age.  These children had been given up to an orphanage because they were sick and the parents had no access to, or money for, healthcare.  The older I’ve gotten, the more I have realized that this is a fixable problem.  I want to work in an area where I can make a difference, and where I can fill the gaps in healthcare.

How has this scholarship helped you achieve your goals?

Because of this grant, I have been able to work a little less and spend a little more time out in the community. I have had the opportunity to shadow the local CNM (certified nurse midwife), and have observed what medicine looks like in a rural area. There are certainly challenges with access to quality care locally, and these are challenges that I would like to help solve.

The experiences that I have been able to gain have further strengthened my resolve to get into rural medicine. Because of this grant, I have gained experiences that I wouldn’t have had the time for. Because of these experiences, I am more determined than ever to help communities such as this one. I want to be able to help the next mother who experiences complications, and ensure she can have the care she deserves without having to travel.

Mechanical Engineering Major Kayley Wants To Find New Solutions To Help Rural Communities

Kaley Elmblad
Kayley Elmblad majors in Mechanical Engineering with a Pre-Health minor

How did you get interested in medicine?

Medicine has impacted me as I directly want to help people in need. Using my background in mechanical engineering I will be able to come up with new solutions and will bring a different viewpoint to medicine. I will be graduating with my undergrad degree in the spring of 2024 and then attending medical school in the fall of 2024.

What made you interested in rural medicine specifically?

Growing up in Marquette MI, I understand the effects of healthcare on a rural area. I want to be a part of the solution and help those who are in underserved communities.

How has this scholarship helped you achieve your goals?

This scholarship is truly an honor and has allowed me to continue my education and effort to become a physician in a rural area.

Want to Lean More?

You can learn about Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship recipients from 2021: Karmyn, who shares her first-semester experience at med school and offers advice for others; and Lindsay who highlights how her research, study abroad, and community service experiences helped shape her career path.

Supporting students through scholarships and fellowships, like the Hon and Nottoli Family Scholarship, is Michigan Tech’s top strategic priority. Learn more about how the Michigan Tech Fund helps students.

Pre-PT Advice from Hunter Kero!

Hi! My name is Hunter Kero. I am currently a senior here at Michigan Tech, majoring in Exercise Science while double minoring in Pre-Health Professions and Psychology. I will be attending Central Michigan University’s Doctorate in Physical Therapy program in May. I applied to this program because of the co-op they have with Michigan Tech, and the opportunity to continue my education in the Copper Country. 

 Studying exercise science at Michigan Tech was very valuable for getting into PT school.  In high school, I was always interested in the human body and became interested in athletic training and physical therapy. It wasn’t until I underwent shoulder surgery, which required many months of physical therapy that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in PT. So, when I transferred to Michigan Tech and saw the curriculum for Exercise Science It was a very easy decision for me to go down this route. 

Michigan Tech provided me with every opportunity to strengthen my application. The shadowing program that Tech has is perfect for students who need on-sight shadowing hours. Along with shadowing, I volunteered as an assistant coach for a local high school hockey team as well as a few smaller organizations and events. I did not take part in research, but Michigan Tech has great opportunities to do so, and I would highly recommend it.  Without the pre-health profession courses, I would have been very overwhelmed in the application process. These courses cover every aspect of the application and what is required for each topic of the application. I strongly recommend taking those classes and saving your work from them. 

Some advice I would give Tech students going for physical therapy would be:

  1. Talk to your Pre-Health Advisor (Nicole) and make sure you have a plan and know what prereqs you need.
  2.  Do not overwhelm yourself as a Freshman or sophomore, enjoy the college experience. There is no correct path to these programs. Be unique.  
  3. Take advantage of what Tech has to offer, there are a lot of opportunities you may not know of.  It is okay to ask questions.

Best of luck to all the students and your journey into whatever you may choose! If you have any questions don’t be afraid to reach out, Nicole has my email. 

Pre-health students win top awards at Michigan Tech

We know students who choose pre-health are top-notch. They go above and beyond in everything they do. So it comes as no surprise to see them recognized for their scholarship and community service. Congratulations to our outstanding pre-health student award-winners.
Read more about pre-medical student Christian Johnson (double major in human biology and English) and pre-physician assistant student Bella Menzel-Smith (human biology major).

Michigan Tech EMS: Chloe Looman’s Experience as Captain.

Chloe Looman, EMT Captain, Biological Sciences Major

Hello, my name is Chloe Looman and I am this year’s Captain of Michigan Tech EMS. Our agency certifies students and local community members to the EMT level, and in exchange, we volunteer as responders to the Michigan Tech campus and surrounding community. Our response time is mere minutes in comparison to the Mercy ambulance company, which can sometimes take 30-40 minutes to respond as they serve the whole Keweenaw Peninsula. 

As Captain, I oversee the three to four responding squads that rotate being on call every 72-96 hours. My journey with the agency began when I was lucky enough to be selected as one of a handful of incoming first-years to the EMT class. The course each year trains about 16-20 students to be EMTs (the lowest level certification that can work in an ambulance) in exchange for volunteering as a responder for a full academic year afterward. Coming to MTU I had my sights set on medical school. I love creative problem solving and people, despite being an introvert, but had little evidence that medicine would be where I would truly thrive. I joined the program not only as a way to gain experience prior to med school but also as a way to explore the clinical side of things.

Through my involvement with the agency, I got just that, and so much more. The EMT course for me was like 3D school. Our tests were practicals where we had to physically demonstrate our skills with the equipment and learn how to ask all the right questions as well as think on our feet. The personal growth I got during the course was immense, and it confirmed that medicine was absolutely the right path for me. After earning my EMT license I got a job as a medical responder at Michigan’s Adventure where I got to treat patients all summer long. This set me up to be very prepared for the next academic year when I was responding with MTU EMS. Living in the dorms gave me the extra advantage of often being the first responder on the scene many times. I got to initiate and direct patient care as well as establish how to take a good care report.

In my second year responding, I got to take the role of Squad Leader. With this position, I got to take a more directive role with my squadmates. In the second semester of that year, I got to move to Lieutenant of my own squad, where I was in charge of driving the EMS Tahoe to scenes and overseeing the patient care. I loved that in this role I got to use my leadership skills to delegate tasks and allow my newer responders to also get the same formative experiences I had gotten as a general responder.

For my final year at MTU as Captain of the agency, it has been incredible to get to direct the inner workings of the agency having served every role at some point myself. I love that with my experience as an introverted leader, I get to use my role to encourage the participation and ideas of every member as well as work closely with the class of students that may someday take my place. Michigan Tech EMS has allowed me to develop strong leadership skills as well as discover that medicine is where I feel most at home. I am currently on three medical school waitlists and eager for a lifetime of treating patients.

Healthcare job growth projected at 16%; Michigan Tech Pre-Health professions helping to meet demand

It’s no secret the older we get the more we need healthcare. And the U.S. is getting older. Currently, 16.5% of the U.S. population of 328 million people, or 54 million, are over the age of 65, according to the latest census. By 2030, that number will rise to 74 million, a 37% increase. And the number of people over the age of 85, who generally need the most care, is growing even faster.

So it comes as no surprise that healthcare is expected to create jobs at a faster clip than the rest of the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 16% growth across all healthcare professions. And these professions pay very well, too. The table below lists just some examples.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020
Occupation Projected
Job Growth
Median
Pay
Audiologists 16% $81,030
Chiropractors 11% $70,720
Dentists 8% $164,010
Optometrists 9% $118,050
Occupational Therapists 17% $86,280
Physical Therapists 21% $91,010
Physicians Assistants 31% $115,390
Podiatrists 2% $134,300
Speech Pathologists 29% $80,480
Veterinarians 17% $99,250

Michigan Tech’s Pre-Health professions minor has been preparing tomorrow’s healthcare leaders and helping to fill the growing demand for healthcare professionals. Pre-Health professions features helpful faculty and staff ensuring students: meet academic requirements for professional programs, receive valuable clinical experience and successfully navigate the application process. All of which results in a 70% acceptance rate into all health professional programs. For Tech students applying to medical school, they have a 65% acceptance rate (approximately twenty-five percentage points above the national average).

Students can pair this minor with any degree/major they choose at Tech. Popular pairings are made with Human Biology, Medical Lab Science, Biomedical Engineering, Exercise Science, Chemistry, and Psychology. While students can choose any major, these are the most common! 

But don’t let us tell you. Hear from our students first-hand how they prepared for the health professional program of their choice.

Listen to Jill Poliskey describe how a study abroad program in Ireland helped her decide to change her focus and her major and decide to go to medical school to become a doctor.

Listen to Abigail Botz describe how getting involved in research on campus and working as a peer health advocate has helped to strengthen her application.

Learn about Alyssa Meinburg’s progression from MTU’s prehealth program to prosthetics and orthotics school.

Emma DeBaeke shares her journey from Tech into into Physcial Therapy school.

And Karmyn Polakowski talk about her entrance into med school thanks to Michigan Tech’s Early Assurance Program (EAP) with Michigan State University.
Learn more about Pre-Health at Michigan Tech or contact Nicole Seigneurie, Director, Pre-Health Profession directly at 906.487.2850 or nmseigne@mtu.edu.

Don’t Lose Your Tenacity: Allysa Meinburg’s P&O Pathway

Allysa participating in a study wearing Free-EMG muscle sensors

Hi! My name is Allysa Meinburg. I am currently a first-year grad student in the Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics at the University of Pittsburgh. Prosthetics and Orthotics is a specialty field in rehabilitation medicine that focuses on creating and delivering devices for those with limb deficiencies. This program applies biomedical engineering concepts but adds pathology and physical human care in a treatment plan. This specialty can be in both immediate post-op and long-term care.

I enrolled at Michigan Tech as a Biomedical Engineering major, and later I switched majors to Biology and graduated with a Human Biology major and minors in Pre-Health Professions and Enterprise. Having a strong engineering and biology background has really set me up to have a well-rounded understanding of my field.

I knew I wanted to be a prosthetics and orthotics practitioner since I learned about the field in high school and have been pursuing avenues to get there ever since. I participated in competitive robotics (FIRST Robotics Competition) and later mentored teams through my time at Mott Community College and at Tech. I enjoyed engineering and technical device design but realized I wanted to focus more on healthcare and human practice. I have worked in many healthcare positions as an ER Physicians Scribe, a Surgery Tech, and an Orthotics Technician. My education at Tech enriched my understanding of human biology, research, and design, but my work taught me patient management and healthcare systems technology.

While at Tech, I had participated in Dr. Ongs’ BME research lab but found my true passion on the AAA Prosthetic Enterprise Team. Over 4 years our team addressed the challenge of affordable accessible prosthetic devices. I used my 8 semesters of Enterprise research and design to publish 2 research posters and presented them at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists national conference. The team I was a part of was made up of mostly engineers, but I found myself focusing on the overall functionality of the product and clinical interactions. With my history of patient care in mind, we designed an ankle prosthesis so it could be easily serviced by the individual with components that are replaceable when they wear out. Having a complete understanding and motivation in product design, I feel like we really created a breakthrough product.

 Allysa with her first upper extremity cast

I loved all that Michigan Tech has to offer- both academic and extracurricular! I conducted research in Dr. Ong’s BME research lab and published a paper with his team. On the Enterprise AAA Prosthetic team, we presented research posters at the American Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists conference twice. In my senior year, I was elected the President of the Enterprise Department and received the Outstanding Leadership Expo award. I was also a part of the medical honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta and served as a member and the President. For extracurriculars, I played Women’s Club Rugby, was a member of CRU and loved(!) to play broomball. I would highly recommend joining AED, the national health honor society. This honor society offers great mentoring connections, volunteering, and philanthropy opportunities. I would also recommend conducting research in any department. I learned so much about how to design a research project, gather data, and implement changes. These skills are paramount in Evidence-Based Practice.

My biggest piece of advice for any Tech student is don’t lose your #tenacity! At the time, Tech didn’t have any prosthetics programs, so I created my own! Working with the Enterprise department we, myself, and the other team members expanded the AAA team and now it has an ankle and foot, prosthetic research team. Lots of the P&O background research and medical ISO preparation processes I am now learning in grad school- huge advantage! We sought funding by presenting to other foundations and departments. Ultimately, this spearheaded our traveling and publishing research at the AAOP conference. If you want to study something that doesn’t exist, it just doesn’t exist YET! Go and find what you love and stay #tenacious.

The Next Chapter: Physical Therapy School

I’m Emma DeBaeke, I graduated in spring 2021 from MTU with a Bachelors of Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology. The research and the anatomical-based program have given me the perfect foundation for the next chapter in my life, Physical Therapy school. I have just started school at the University of Michigan- Flint in their DPT program. Personally, I feel as if U of M has been the right choice for me because of the ability to live closer to my family, the PT Heart clinic, and the amazing professors. However, MTU will always be in my heart.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without my experiences at Tech. With Michigan Tech being so far from my home town it helped me grow. It took a lot of tenacity, determination, and help from the Chemistry Learning Center to make it through my first semester. I also couldn’t have made it through without the supportive community at MTU. I have had numerous occasions where people have helped me shovel out my car from the snow, and I have run into countless alumni downstate who are always so kind. 

Throughout my time at Tech I was on the rowing team, a Resident Assistant in DHH, and an Athletic Training Intern. I am still active in the MTU community as a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. I personally enjoy being busy and these roles allowed me to either give back to the community or better myself personally. I know preparing to apply for graduate school can be stressful. I believe when preparing your resume it’s important to find activities that you enjoy to fulfill the graduate program’s recommendations and help you stand out during interviews.

Karmyn Polakowski: Preparation for Medical School

My name is Karmyn Polakowski. I am currently a first-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

What was your undergraduate major at Michigan Tech? How do you feel this major has prepared you for medical school?

I majored in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS). This degree choice was vital to shaping me into the medical student I am today—I am a strong believer that in order to be a fruitful physician we must know the ins and the outs of medicine from the lab all the way to the patient rooms. Simply because if we don’t know how we got to the answers such as the origin of a particular lab result, it’s difficult to make a diagnosis and explain it effectively to a patient.

The curriculum devised for MLS students is one for students with a desire for perpetual learning and a mind full of curiosity. I promise you, the courses will feed these cravings. 

What experiences/resources did you have at Michigan Tech that you felt set you up for success?

Michigan Tech did an amazing job at shaping me into a competitive medical school applicant as well as a successful medical student by providing me with both the people and activities to make me a well-rounded person. Medical schools emphasize not only the necessary science skills but also the soft skills and I truly believe that MTU set me up to do both. In particular, I had awesome instructors, an amazing pre-health advisor, and extracurricular groups that pushed me to be this type of person.

Why did you apply to Michigan Tech’s Early Assurance Program (EAP) with Michigan State University?

I chose to apply to the EAP simply because I knew that MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM) was the perfect fit for me. MSU CHM places an emphasis on producing primary care providers in rural health care settings and that is my personal goal as well. So because my goal aligned with their mission statement so well I decided to apply and even better, apply a little early.

Do you have any tips or advice for future students applying to EAP? Or students applying to Medical school in general?

BE A GENUINE PERSON! Applying to medical school can be frightening because of all of the numbers and statistics about GPAs, the MCAT, etc– however, discovering why you want to do medicine and making that apparent through a genuine and compassionate attitude will take you so much further than a score will. That being said, make sure that you’re always trying your best to do well on your exams and projects, but make sure that you’re also doing things outside of school to shape yourself into a well-rounded person. After all, medicine is about human connectedness, not your best test score.

What type of experiences or extracurricular activities were you involved in?

I was involved in Michigan Tech EMS for a couple of years and it was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate career. I was not only able to deploy my patient interaction and care skills, but I found the EMS family that created bonds to last a lifetime. EMS brings out special qualities in everyone and learning how to utilize everyone’s strengths is really quite eye-opening. This lesson in itself makes me confident in my ability to work well as a physician amongst a group of other healthcare workers someday soon.

Bella Menzel-Smith, Pathway to Physician Assistant School

My name is Bella Menzel-Smith, and I am currently a fourth-year student at Michigan Technological University. 

I will be graduating this May from MTU with a degree in Human Biology. After graduation, I will be attending Marquette University’s Physician Assistant Program. As a Pre-Physician Assistant student at MTU, I was able to take courses in biology, chemistry, psychology, public health, and epidemiology. My favorite aspect of MTU’s Pre-Health program has been the supportive faculty. I truly have felt that I have been a part of a tight-knit community throughout the past four years. Working with the Pre-Health advisor, Nicole Seigneurie, was so beneficial to me because she was always there to answer my questions and cheer me on along the way. In addition to this, all my professors have been more than helpful to make sure that I succeeded in their classes. 

When I was unsure about what I wanted to study during my first year of college, I had an annual healthcare check-up with my healthcare provider who is a Physician Assistant. I asked her questions about her profession, and she had nothing but positive things to say. I decided to do more research on my own, and I found out that the Physician Assistant profession was created in 1965 by Dr. Eugene Stead, in order to address healthcare disparities and the need for more primary care providers. Immediately, I was so excited that I had found a healthcare profession that was created for the exact reasons as to why I wanted to enter the healthcare field! Growing up in a rural area, I have seen firsthand how poverty and access can affect the quality of healthcare that people receive. When people in my community need to see a specialist, they have to travel at least four hours away. Therefore, it is my goal as a Physician Assistant to be a healthcare advocate for marginalized populations and to improve healthcare disparities in rural medically underserved areas. 

Once I decided that I wanted to pursue the Physician Assistant profession, I knew that I had to get involved in the MTU community. I have been a tutor at the Chemistry Learning Center, since my second year at Tech. Being a tutor has allowed me to support students during their difficult chemistry classes. I have loved being able to help students build their confidence and strengthen their studying skills. I have also been a Co-President of Student Well-being Advocates at MTU and the President of AED Pre-Health Honor Society for the last year. Both of these opportunities have allowed me to work on my leadership and communication skills. Through Student Well-being Advocates, I was able to start a Winter Warm-Up winter accessory drive that takes place annually on campus. In addition to my involvement on campus, I was fortunate enough to be a Crisis Text Line Counselor where I learned how to be an empathetic listener to people who were in crisis. I know that the lessons I’ve learned throughout this experience will help me with my future interactions with patients. I believe that it’s so important for everyone to get involved with extracurricular activities that you enjoy to help you find your passions in life! 

The most valuable advice that I have for anyone who is on a Pre-Physician Assistant pathway is to gain clinical experience. I was a Certified Nursing Assistant for over a year at a local nursing home. Through this experience, I was able to learn how to provide person-centered compassionate care to my residents. I cared for individuals who had a diagnosis of dementia, and I learned the importance of treating my residents as the human beings that they were and not as their diagnosis. I also found that one of my professional callings in life is to be a healthcare advocate for vulnerable populations like the elderly. I know that this experience has taught me so much and will be very beneficial to my future as a Physician Assistant. I hope everyone takes advantage of their time at Tech and gets involved in the community as much as possible. I will forever be grateful for the time that I have spent at MTU!