Blue Review All Access: Long-Vanderburg Scholar on pace to become international physician
It's a Friday morning in the University Commons at Millikin University as Rubi罗德里格斯 enters the building after taking an exam in the Leighty-Tabor Science Center – a spot she's grown accustomed to as a senior pre-med biology major. You could say Rodriguez has found her "place" in the 生物学 Department, as well as with a variety of programs at Millikin University.
Rodriguez is a Long-Vanderburg (LV) Scholar, but it doesn't stop there. 她是Long-Vanderburg导师, Leighty科学ROR体育, a member of the Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) National Biological Honor Society and Alpha Lambda Honor Society, TriBeta的秘书, and the president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO).
的 Long-VanderburgROR体育计划 was founded in the name of Millikin's first two African-American graduates, 弗雷德·朗和玛丽安·范德伯格. It is a signature program for underrepresented students who are interested in having foundational conversations about social justice, 多样性和包容性. It's being an LV Scholar that has helped Rodriguez find her identity.
"I'm finding my own sense of leadership and ways to not only help myself in general ways of life, but also help others advance by being an LV Mentor – I can help others find those identities and either come to terms with them or accept them,”她说. "All of your different identities make up who you are."
汤娅海恩斯, assistant director of inclusion and student engagement at Millikin, says experiences from the LV program have helped Rodriquez grow in confidence. "Her involvement in many programs has contributed to her growth. She's using all of her experiences in class and working closely with me behind-the-scenes to see the work we do with the different LV students, 并将这些技能作为导师. She is feeling liberated and free to be who she's wanted to be."
罗德里格斯出生于墨西哥，在伊利诺斯州的沃康达长大.她六岁时搬到那里. She chose Millikin for its heavy concentration in pre-professional studies with hands-on practices to prepare for medical school, including preparing for the Medical College 入学 Test (MCAT).
作为一个Leighty科学ROR体育, Rodriguez is part of an elite group of Millikin science students who have the opportunity to do graduate-level research. Rodriguez took advantage of this opportunity by engaging in a research project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rodriguez's work focuses on genomic research, which involves the sequencing of fungal genomes. Her research is contributing to an ongoing study through the National Institute of 健康 (NIH).
“这是一个热门话题，因为通过观察基因组, we'll be able to see what distinguishes them in their characteristics, 这样做的时候, that could be the foundation for further research down the line at either our lab or other labs,”罗德里格斯说. "It's an opportunity for the scientific community to find anti-fungal medications or targets that may be most prominent to those fungal species."
Because of Millikin's emphasis on Performance Learning, students at Millikin are able to get out into the field and gain experience right away – something Rodriguez says is incredibly important especially in the area of science. “你可以看到你喜欢的树枝. 例如, if I realized I didn't like medicine I might like research better because I've had the opportunity and because of the genuine interactions I've had with the professors,”她说.
毕业后, Rodriguez plans to pursue medical school to become an international physician through programs such as Doctors Without Borders, an organization that provides lifesaving medical humanitarian care to people in need around the world. 的 LV program also played an integral part of this decision because of the opportunities she was given to travel broad and interact with other cultures.
最近, Rodriguez went to Peru for medical volunteering through a program called Foundation for 国际 媒体l Relief of Children (FIMRC).
“ROR平台做了很多社区外展, 并通过,, I was able to realize that this is what I want do – this is the type of interaction I want to pursue and these are the type of people I want to have that genuine exchange with,”罗德里格斯说. "I want to give them access to the health care they deserve."
For international medicine, there are several branches. Licensed physicians can work on their own or they could work with volunteers and organizations like Doctors Without Borders. It's up in the air as to whether Rodriguez wants to do international medicine long term, 但是现在, 她在查所有可能的分支.
“无论是无国界医生组织, 志愿者方法或非营利组织, 我仍然可以做出积极的贡献,”她说. “在国外有了接触之后, I do think practicing medicine internationally and providing that aid is what I was meant to do."