Monday, January 09, 2006

AMCAS - Activites

Community Service/Volunteer - Medical/Clinical
Volunteer Activity Coordinator
Jun 00 - Dec 02
5 hrs/week

Atria Assisted Living Home was a horizon widening experience. Where the resident's unique perspective taught me that aging is often only a physical ailment as they maintained a devil-may-care attitude that life is short and we needed to enjoy it whatever our age prevailed. I helped implement several programs between Atria's residents and student organizations to provide ice cream socials, "senior" prom nights, hula parties, and many bingo nights. I participated in health care activities, exercise classes, and walking "races." I read to many of them, listened to records with some, and watched an artist who learned to paint with his left hand after his right was paralyzed by a stroke. I had my first experiences with death while volunteering at Atria. I also had my first experience with dementia and Alzheimer's. A disease I would later know personally as it slowly claimed the mind of my grandmother, throughout my college career, until her death shortly before graduation. Like a flower receiving the gardener's tender care, I can think of no other experience where I received so much more than I ever gave. I took away lifetimes of advice, knowledge, and lore shared by these people. They warmly accepted me, and I benefit still from the memories of their love and concern for my future.


Biomedical Science Society Officer
Aug 00 - Dec 02
3 hrs/week

I am proudest of my service in the Biomedical Science Society where I was selected Freshman Liaison my first year and Vice-President as a sophomore. Our mission was to introduce students to different careers in the biomedical sciences. As Freshman Liaison, it was my responsibility to encourage freshman to come to our meetings and introduce them to the staff and professors who would be teaching their upper level courses. As a Vice-president, it was my responsibility to select speakers for our meetings, post flyers, and create a monthly newsletter. Arranging speakers for meetings was a difficult task often entailing learning a great deal about the speakers and their research in order to introduce them to the group. I created a program where we adopted needy elementary school children, and members took turns helping with homework, bringing them to student athletic events, or playing soccer or football with them after school. I organized a drive to provide toys for a needy family at Christmas. The toy drive became more and more successful over three years. The department held wrapping parties, and students and faculty would spend an afternoon watching movies with a holiday theme and wrapping gifts for hours. I was also responsible for coordinating activities with Atria Assisted Living Home.


Biomedical Science Society Philanthropy Award
May 01
0 hrs/week

My service in the Biomedical Science Society enabled me to receive the Department of Biomedical Science Philanthropy Award in 2001 in recognition of my accomplishments over two years with Atria Assisted Living Home. I was successful in implementing several programs between Atria's residents and student honor/service organizations. The work with Atria enabled students to help others, give of themselves, and enter into caring relationships with others. It developed an environment of collegial participation among students, faculty, and the community. It increased the civic and citizenship skills of students. It allowed Atria to better serve their clients and benefit from the infusion of enthusiastic volunteers. It also exposed students to societal inadequacies and injustices and empowered students to remedy them. I am proud that after four years many of these events still take place.


Artistic Endeavors
Aug 01 - Aug 05
3 hrs/week

Organic chemistry, the bane of all but a few dedicated science majors, forced me to learn outside of my comfort zone. On my first day of class, the professor instructed everyone to raise their hand. He asked that everyone who had ever played a team sport to put their hand down. He then explained that organic chemistry was like playing sports, you have to practice in order to be really good at it. Then, he said that the analogy also holds true for anyone who has ever played a musical instrument. It takes dedication and practice to be a good musician. So, he asked everyone who had ever played an instrument to put their hand down. Out of the 60 plus people in my class, I was the only one with my hand still raised, and I knew I was in over my head. That very week I bought a violin and started practicing. I am not very good at it, but I play at a couple of the nursing homes in Gulfport when I work the holidays. I have, however, decided there is a strong likelihood I will master the violin before I completely understand organic chemistry.


Paid Employment - not Military
Memorial Hospital in Gulfport
Mar 02 - Jan 06
30 hrs/wk

I began working in the Cardiology Department of Memorial Hospital in March 2002 and act as the weekend coordinator for the department as I work unsupervised fifteen-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday. I am responsible for the effective operation of the cardiology unit on the weekend. My job duties include performing EKGs, applying Holter monitors, assisting physicians with reports, entering orders and charges, and maintaining the cardiology office. I help to train new technicians and nurseing aids to perform EKGs. Over the past two years the department has implemented a new computerized EKG/report retrieval system. I have been a part of the performance improvement team to help integrate the new system and increase efficiency. I work closely with my supervisor to element duplication of work among the technicians and to allow for better communication between shifts. Often, I am the point person connecting the cardiology department with patients and other hospital components. This job has enabled me to become a more compassionate, patient, and understanding person better experienced in dealing with scared, confused, angry, and sometimes unwilling patients.


Student's Teaching America's Youth Reading Program
Aug 02 - Dec 02
15 hrs/wk

I tutored elementary school first graders as part of a college work-study program. My participation in this process took place at Grigg's Elementary School in Mobile, AL. There I listened, corrected, and encouraged the children as they read stories to me. It was an endeavor requiring focus and patience on my part, and I learned, through teaching, the principles underlying the development of reading skills. I also learned that teachers/educators put in many hours of preparation outside the classroom preparing lesson plans and materials in order to help the children learn. Perhaps my most telling lesson learned was to distance myself from the students because you become attached to them and very interested in what happens to them when they are at home. I saw children from abusive homes, children with absentee parents, children who wore dirty clothes to school. I admired the students who were quick learners and wanted my approval, but I enjoyed the slow learners who needed the help even more. I enjoyed the challenge. My greatest satisfaction came in seeing the glow of happiness and success on their faces when they realized they could actually read. I felt pride in knowing I helped secure a better future for them, as they became better readers.


Freshman Athlete Tutor
Aug 02 - Dec 02
9 hrs/week

tutored freshman athletes, many of them international students unskilled in English as a second language. All the athletes were required to attend study hall nine hours a week. The ESL students were very attentive and exhibited a great desire to learn and become effective communicators. They were easy to teach and seemed appreciative of my attention. I learned the few who rarely talked and exhibited discomfort were usually the most in need of and too embarrassed to ask for help. I concentrated on helping them develop their language skills by having them talk and teach me about their culture and the sports they played. Once past this hurdle, we were more successful in overcoming the problems they were having in other academic areas. This experience was very beneficial for me in that I learned a great deal about their cultures. I was invited to meet their families and eat ethnic cuisine I probably would not have sampled otherwise. I made friends for life, and I still visit and correspond with several of them on a regular basis.


Biology Honor Society
Aug 03 - Aug 05
1 hr/wk

Biology, a field presenting many challenging, intellectual problems, provides the basic foundation enabling one to study in any area of the life sciences. I knew an undergraduate degree would present me with nearly limitless opportunities for study and research. Biology provides me with the necessary foundation to work and continue to learn in any of the many fields I feel would satisfy my desire and passion to become a productive contributing member of society. Every time I attend a Biology Honor Society meeting, I find myself experiencing a keen sense of expectation knowing I am about to begin another journey into the world of discovery. The Biology Honor Society has provided growth and experience far exceeding my expectations. The higher degree of detail and depth of study introduced me to the world of research my professor's inhabit and provided the impetus allowing my own research experiences to blossom. The field of study encompassed by the Biology Honor Society is so broad, it fosters a sense of cooperation in the interactions of students with the same general levels of research experience.


Stephen Hatten Premedical Externship
Sep 03 - May 04
3 hrs/wk

Stephen Hatten Premedical Externship program increased my knowledge and insight into the medical profession and ensured that I was maximizing my learning experience about my career choice. The program provided me with the leadership, knowledge, and experience in the decision-making processes of someone who is now where I expect to be in the future. I obtained a degree of leverage from the program to pry into the nooks and corners and gain a lay person's view of medical procedure. I wanted and received the real experience, not Patch Adams, Scrubs, not General Hospital nor ER, but real life experiences in the medical community. I was able to ask a lot of personal questions to many different specialists. The most important lesson was how these physicians, an optomistrist, a veterinarian and a dentist balance family and work. I was given a lifetime of advice about begining medical school and studying, and I learned the reasons that each chose the respective career paths.


Undergraduate Thesis
Mar 04 - Aug 05
10 hrs/wk

To achieve Latin honors, I was required to complete a research project. I worked with a geologist interested in investigating living foraminifera. Teamwork, communication, initiative, and mentoring comprise the cardinal points of the compass of research. An important aspect of the research project was the mentoring I received, making north a mentor to direct, inspire, teach, and push my limits. East became initiative as I created the research question, designed the methodology, and did my own trouble shooting when things did not work correctly. I learned all research has drawbacks and went through many failures before finally getting it right. South was the teamwork of students and a professor who accompanied me into the field to collect samples from the marsh, and classmates who helped compile the statistical data. West is the last point leading to completion. It is essential that one be able to effectively communicate the results of the research. I often felt I would never finish with my thesis. I did so many revisions I almost convinced myself I would never be a good research scientist. Throughout the learning experience my advisor inspired me by listening and encouraging me to solve my own problems. I now know how to navigate with confidence the pathways of future research endeavors.


Community Service/Volunteer - not Medical/Clinical
Founding Member of USM Roots and Shoots Chapter
Aug 04 - May 05
4 hrs/wk

While attending a Biology Honor Society meeting my senior year, I was approached by a professor, active in the Roots and Shoots program at Hattiesburg High School, seeking help to move Roots and Shoots to USM. Roots and Shoots is a program designed to inspired students to take action and involve themselves in making their community and the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. I am proud I was able to help make Roots and Shoots a part of USM before I graduated. As one of the founding members, I held informational meetings for other student organizations to garner support for our efforts to implement positive change by actively learning about, caring for, and interacting with the environment. Perhaps the key component was our goal to help young people develop self-respect, confidence in themselves, and hope for the future. Bringing Roots and Shoots to USM taught me the processes for making an application to charter an organization at the university and with the Roots and Shoots Foundation. This organization allowed me to strengthen my leadership abilities by providing education through tutorials, online learning, and presentations.


Woolsey Cruise - LUMCON
May 05
60 hrs/wk

I spent five solid days aboard the R/V Pelican with 17 other scientists and 5 crewmembers. We left Cocadrie, LA, and headed for a specific portion of the Mississippi Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico in order to take sediment cores from an area where a methane hydrate vent was known to exist. I assisted Dr. Brunner, a paleoceanographer to photograph, measure, and dissect the sediment cores before we packaged them for shipment to her lab for further research and analysis. Teamwork and camaraderie existed between the crew and scientist with each crossing over to do whatever was needed to accomplish the task at hand. It was an exceptional experience to view my professors "with their hair down" while working hard next to them. I gained first hand experience of scientific research outside of the lab. I was surprised at the nautical ability of the scientific group, but even more eye opening was the degree of scientific knowledge and ability of the Pelican's crew. Everyone on board, scientist and crew had something to teach me in this unique learning adventure.


Distinguished Senior Award
May 05
0 hrs/wk

I am one of nine graduating seniors to receive the Biological Sciences Distinguished Senior award. The award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves not only academically but also through other achievements while attending the University of Southern Mississippi. The department faculty nominated and voted for the seniors who received this award. I was honored to receive the recognition of my professors reflecting their awareness of my abilities and dedication over the years when I thought it had gone unnoticed.


Blogger gottamakeit said...

Im in love with your blog, its amazing reading about all of the things you did why did'nt you go for Harvard Medical you would have got in without even trying:)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006 at 10:23:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous scentimint said...

wow, i am very impressed as well. you've done some great things! you will make an excellent doctor wherever you end up. :D

Thursday, May 4, 2006 at 8:28:00 AM CDT  

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