Hiram College

I am a senior biomedical humanities major and psychology minor.

I chose Hiram because of the biomedical humanities major. I knew that I was an aspiring physician, so I thought that science classes were going to be the only courses I would be able to take. When I heard about the biomedical humanities major offering a unique blend of the sciences and the humanities, I fell in love with the possibilities it offered and chose Hiram.

I love the convocations that Hiram offers, especially through the Center for Literature and Medicine! I enjoy hearing from the different guest speakers, plus it is nice to get to know the professors at the events as well as fellow majors.

I am currently finishing a research project with Professor Jesse Young from the Northeast Ohio Medical University. The purpose of the project is to look at the reciprocal relationship between the effects of Parkinson’s disease on motor movement as the disease progresses versus the effects of motor movement on the progression of Parkinson’s disease. I worked with mice that were injected with MPTP, a neurodegenerative chemical that causes Parkinson’s-like symptoms. We video-recorded the mice following their injection for nearly a week to capture their gait. I am now in the process of analyzing the data I collected over the summer.

I was fortunate enough to participate in the study abroad trip to South Africa in the fall three-week of 2009. We spent time in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa, studying the sociological and ecological characteristics of the country. In those locations, we learned about issues surrounding orphans and orphanages, the AIDS epidemic, the history and struggle for independence, and the wildlife! Just being able to experience such a unique culture was life changing; I felt that my eyes were truly opened. The experience was exciting, educational, and humbling.

I did a research internship at NEOUCOM with a professor in the Anatomy department. I studied the effects of Parkinson’s disease on the motor movement of mice who had been injected with a neurotoxin called MPTP. Not only did I get to learn a great deal about Parkinson’s disease and motor control, I also gained research experience that will certainly help me in my future as a scientist.

I also completed a clinical internship at a local physical therapy clinic in my hometown. During this experience, I assisted the physical therapist with paperwork and with rehabilitating patients. This experience showed me that physical therapy is not the best career for me while reassuring me that medicine is the field I want to work in.

I have enjoyed all of my courses at Hiram, but I especially loved the INTD 381: “What is Human?” This course introduced me to a whole new discipline in the sciences. I had never really been taught to consider the ethics involved in the sciences. This course definitely integrated the humanities with the sciences of the biomedical humanities.

I hope to attend medical school following my graduation from Hiram. I wish to pursue a career in pediatrics, oncology, or psychiatry. Although this path is daunting, I feel that I will be fully prepared following my experience here at Hiram.