Bright Future in Biology
Jake Wardyn, a sophomore biology major from Weeping Water, Nebraska, attended the 2009 Summer Medical/Dental Education Program (SMDEP) where he spent six weeks in an academic enrichment program at Yale University School of Medicine. He experienced intensive and personalized medical school preparation classes, job shadowing opportunities and more during the summer program.
Jake was encouraged to apply to the highly competitive program by HC biology professors, Dr. John Kuehn and Dr. Amy Morris. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program offers first and second-year college students full tuition, room and board, travel expenses and a stipend for the experience.
Jake is an Executive Cabinet Member of the Student Association and winner of the 2009 CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Award. He is involved in the Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC), TriBeta Biology Honor Society and Pre-Health Club.
See what Jake had to say about his experience at Yale University…
What was most surprising about your summer experience at Yale University?
“One of the most surprising things about the experience was on my first day there. I had this preconceived idea of what an Ivy League school would look like and how the people would act.
After I got off the plane, the taxi dropped me off in front of an urban hospital on the Yale School of Medicine campus. Most of the people I met there were very nice and cordial. It made me realize that my "idea" about the Ivy League school was wrong.”
What did you learn there?
“One eye-opening experience was the job shadowing assignment in the Emergency Department. It was really cool to actually see what happens in real life and get the fictional depictions out of my mind. I shadowed a med student who was more than willing to answer all my questions, and it was actually very educational for me."
What was one fun memory?
“A basketball game between SMDEP and BioStep, a research program through Yale - ten of the SMDEP students, one being myself, signed up to play 8 of the BioStep students. We ended up winning by ten. It was a great way to get away from the studying, and most of the other 80 kids who didn't play actually came and supported us. It was really cool.”
How did this experience change you?
“This program was one of the best experiences of my life. I was exposed to so many different ideas, backgrounds, and beliefs. I loved that I was around so many people who wanted to be in the medical field and had the same goals in life. I think one of the major things I will take from this experience is the friendships and memories I have made that will last forever. You can't beat that.”
“I love the professors in the HC science program. They’re unbelievable. They’re one of the main reasons I chose Hastings College. They just gave that vibe that they wanted to help.”