Saying yes to opportunities advances Duffy’s college experience

Saying yes to opportunities is not only an important aspect of Jordyn Duffy’s college career, but also to who she is as a person. A humble leader who isn’t afraid to try new things, Duffy has spent the last three years of her college career expanding her horizons and taking advantage of everything that Hastings has to offer — academically and socially.

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Jordyn Duffy

Duffy, a biochemistry major from Elbert, Colorado, will be a senior in the fall. She’s been an active student, not only excelling in her classes, but also taking advantage of academic opportunities beyond the classroom. Duffy began working for the science department during the fall of her freshman year, and by the spring semester she had partnered with Dr. Neil Heckman to begin conducting research.

Over the last two years, Duffy has continued to step outside her comfort zone by collaborating with Heckman and fellow student Morgan Wohl to publish a research article, as well as finishing her senior research project a year early and submitting it for publication in an undergraduate research journal. Her article on imidazolium-based ionic liquids was accepted and published this past spring.

“She’s the first student that I have had in 20 years that has had two papers published, one with her being a co-author and one her being the sole author. I just feel like she is an outstanding student, someone who has always taken advantage of the opportunities presented to her and reaps the benefits of hard work and the courage to say yes,” Heckman said.

This still wasn’t enough excitement for Duffy — she also spent many hours pursuing acceptance into the Still Scholars Program, an early acceptance program for A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I started the application process last year as a sophomore. Then the summer between my sophomore and junior year I worked on all my essays and shadowing hours for the application. After completing around 200 hours of shadowing and clinical experience, as well as significant volunteering, I went through two rounds of interviews. I was very excited to be accepted into the program this last October,” Duffy said.

Duffy said she is ecstatic to continue her education at A.T. Still, specifically the opportunity that she has to study osteopathic medicine, a medical approach that emphasizes preventative measures and holistic health. Duffy became interested in this type of practice after seeing the positive effects that osteopathic medicine had on her own life, and she hopes to channel what she has learned from her personal journey into her professional practice one day.

Duffy will spend four years at A.T. Still before graduating with her doctorate, and afterward she will spend anywhere from two to four years completing residency. She is not sure exactly what type of specialization she wants to pursue yet, but is considering dermatology.

As she enters her senior year already accepted into medical school and with her senior project complete, the question has become what will she do with all the extra time on her hands. For Duffy, the answer is simple and wise beyond her years.

“I really want to take my senior year to do the things that I love, because it’s going to be my last year before a very intense school schedule. Medicine is a big passion of mine so continuing my shadowing and volunteer efforts is something I’m really looking forward to next year. But I also want to make sure I spend time with my family and my friends, and do the things that make me the happiest before I can’t do them as much,” Duffy said.

This is fitting for Duffy’s character as someone who is very intentional about working hard on her studies and her dreams, but also taking the time to be involved socially. Throughout her college career she has been involved in student government as the Executive Cabinet treasurer, president of Alpha Chi and a member of the women’s tennis team.

Taking advantage of all the opportunities offered to her, both academically and socially, is the defining characteristic of her incredibly successful college career.

“I think getting involved, meeting people and having a good group of people to surround you really helps,” she said. “I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and looking back, I am so thankful that I did.”

Duffy said she is thankful for Heckman’s guidance and support, as well as Hastings College for providing the many opportunities to achieve her dreams.

By Landry Hinkson ‘23

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