- Interested in other cultures.
- A constant student.
- Studying German.
- A vegetarian.
- From Vancouver, Wash.
- Always curious.
A Doctor in Training
Chemistry and language classes — and a year in Africa — helped Emily Mitchell find a career in medicine.
Why I Value Willamette
"I have always enjoyed studying a lot of different subjects and not just focusing in one area, so that's one of the things I really like about Willamette," Emily Mitchell says. "The liberal arts education allows you to take classes in many departments. Being a well-rounded individual helps you in all areas of life."
Emily is majoring in German, but she also has taken numerous courses in chemistry, a subject she hadn't considered until a professor encouraged her.
Chemistry Professor Andrew Duncan saw that Emily excelled in the subject, and he asked her to join him in his research on the left- and right-handed versions of molecules through the Science Collaborative Research Program.
"I really enjoyed the experience, but I also discovered that scientific research was not for me," Emily says. "I like experiencing other cultures and learning other languages, rather than spending all my time in a lab. One of the great things about Willamette is that you can experiment with different things and see what you're cut out for."
Emily's science work showed her she was made for another type of career: medicine.
Her father is a surgeon, and when her family decided to spend a year working at a hospital in Nigeria, Emily took time off from Willamette to join them.
Emily learned firsthand what it was like to be a doctor as she conducted hearing tests, assisted with surgeries and helped reorganize instruments in a medical clinic. Now her goal is to attend medical school and practice medicine in a developing country.
"This experience allowed me to see if the medical career was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Willamette made it possible by being flexible enough to allow a year-long leave of absence. The different opportunities I have had at Willamette and my work in Nigeria helped me discover my interests: the sciences, languages and other cultures."
Beyond the Classroom
Emily also has had a well-rounded experience outside of class.
She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, she helped Tokyo International University of America students integrate into Willamette through the Building Bridges program and she competed for three years on the crew team.
"I love rowing for a Division III school," she says. "Willamette encourages us to be scholar-athletes, where we can play sports, but we're also supported as dedicated students."
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