I really enjoy my role as a student leader on campus — there are so many leadership opportunities on campus. I truly feel that the input of students is valued and taken seriously by the administrators and because of that you can really effect change on campus. It's pretty amazing to be able to meet with the Executive Vice Chancellor and other administrators to discuss student life on campus, and KUMC provides that opportunity. I feel that my involvement with the Office of Student Engagement and student organizations has really enriched my student experience and expanded my knowledge. This has also given me the opportunity to work with students from all the schools and foster interprofessional relationships that mirror what's expected in the workplace once we all graduate.
My research is focused on the pathogenesis of Hepatitis C virus and I enjoy my labwork very much — my mentor encourages me to think critically about my ideas and experiments and gives me an incredible amount of support. Also all the basic science departments at KUMC are continually bringing prominent scientists to give lectures and meet with students — there are multiple talks every week that everyone is invited to attend. There is really great research going on and KUMC is always trying to innovate to be a leader.
My advice would be to put your academics first and focus on putting together a study or work plan that allows you to handle your workload efficiently. It's just as important in professional school to have great time management skills to be able to study, spend time with friends and family, and take part in campus activities. Once you feel comfortable, I would strongly encourage students to find something they are passionate about and join a student organization that helps them pursue that interest. Student organizations have immense support on campus and can do pretty amazing things — you are only constrained by your own imagination. Lastly I encourage networking with faculty members, not only in your program, but even outside your program/department especially if your interests are interdisciplinary. I've found faculty members are eager to meet with students and are very willing to help them in their academic pursuits.
I think the most important thing is to have good time management skills to balance your academic and personal life. I also think mental and physical wellness is very important to being a good student so I would also suggest students pinpoint the various resources on campus that can help with the whole person whether that be counseling services, Kirmayer Fitness Center, or simply finding a mentor to help in the pursuit of your goals.
Being from New York City, I was skeptical when I moved to Kansas City that I would quickly run out of things to do but I was pleasantly surprised. Kansas City is full of hidden gems — there are interesting neighborhoods to wander around in, beautiful parks inside and outside the city, great restaurants, and a vibrant arts community. I enjoy finding new places and cuisine to try out every weekend. I'm also really excited by the opening of the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and can't wait to see a performance there!