Major: Biology B.A./M.D.
Hometown: Camdenton, Missouri
What are your career goals? As a medical missionary, I would love to help build and maintain ten hospitals and orphanages that range from Central Africa to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Why did you choose UMKC?
According to the World Health Organization, 107 people die every minute…in my mind, this loss is simply unacceptable, especially when considering that many of these deaths occur so unnecessarily in the developing countries of the world. With time being such an unrelenting reminder of how I spent my time, I quickly became attracted to the hybridized six-year medical program offered at UMKC. This was the first thing that attracted me to this university. Secondarily, but perhaps even more significantly, was my experience during my campus visits. Everyone wanted to help. Whether it was the students I bumped into while walking around campus or the UMKC staff that I interacted with in the office, there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t willing to help me and my family as best they could. There is a philosophy in some circles of education that says, in effect, “We’re going to produce successful students by teaching them how to handle failure—we’re going to overwhelm them, hoping that they can rise to the challenge.” This is not the philosophy of UMKC. Instead, this is what I see: “We’re going to produce successful people, not merely students capable of academic achievement, but individuals who are able to meet the challenges of their lives and impact the world in which they live—we will give them every available opportunity and resource that’s necessary to be successful. We’re going to challenge them, knowing that they can rise to meet it.” UMKC partners with you in your success—you are not alone. Ultimately, this is why I chose UMKC.
What are you involved with on campus?
Campus Ambassador, Medical School Ambassador, American Medical Association, Surgical Interest Group
What’s your favorite thing about UMKC?
This is a hard question to answer…I guess, in essence, the people. All those memories that are entrenched in my memory all have to do with the people. I like that the academic rigor of my classes pushes me to the edge of failure, but even more so that there are always those friends and staff members to pull me back from the brink. I like the way that Erica is laughing at me as I go up to the Robot Café, my macadamia nut Americano already waiting for me in her hand. I like that I can e-mail my professor over break, and that she responds within a day to make sure that I fully understand the concept. I like that I can walk into Welcome Center greeted by at least ten happy (usually) co-workers and friends that are at once ready to take out a tour or throw gummy bears at each other. I like that in the midst of doing her job, my docent doctor pulls me aside to ask me how I’m really doing…yes, there are fun things about campus, like knocker ball and the RooBot, but these aren’t my favorite things about this university—it’s the people. Almost everybody that I’ve met at UMKC, in some sense, whether intentionally or not, is always building towards the success and happiness of someone else…in twenty years, I’m not going to remember that we’re 1 of 25 universities to have a book robot. I will remember all the people along the way, though, who made this university the home and foundation that launched me into increasingly greater moments.
What’s your favorite thing about KC?
It’s a city bursting with pride and adventure. You feel it when the entire city gets behind its teams, rallying together in electrifying rivers of blue and red. You see it when whole art community floods the Crossroads with their masterful creations for First Fridays every month. You taste it in the wide range of cultural cuisines that are bursting from the seams of the Plaza, Westport, and random independently-owned restaurants. You hear it in the rising harmonies that echo off the audacious halls of the Kauffman Performing Arts. I have yet to be in a city that dares me, as Kansas City does, to dive so fully and adventurously into every aspect of the life that it offers.
May you share a fun fact with us?
I can touch my nose with my tongue.
What is your ultimate comfort meal or food?
Cornbread and chili
So you’ve been doing this college thing for a while now. Any advice for students?
Don’t limit yourselves. Each one of you has a crazy amount of potential to accomplish great things that are beyond what anybody might yet be able to imagine. If you allow yourselves to simply slip into the routine of going to class and studying on autopilot, you will deprive yourselves of this potential. I’m speaking from experience—keep pushing yourselves, striving to accomplish those goals that everybody else might deem impossible or unrealistic. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Don’t limit what you’re capable of doing in life before you even have the opportunity to fail. Changing the world means that you will have to re-define its current standards and expectations in a way that might seem utterly ridiculous to everybody else.