Student Leader

Amy Holec, BSN Candidate

Amy Holec, BSN Candidate

Amy Holec, BSN studentWhy did you choose the U and your program?

I always knew I would work in health care and I found nursing to be the perfect fit. I love that there are so many different career paths within nursing, that it allows me to work with people, and has a focus in science. I choose the U because of the Freshman Guarantee Program through the School of Nursing. Once I knew I was pre-accepted into such a well established and competitive program, there was no way I was going to college anywhere else. 

What is something you wished you knew before you started your program?

Everything you learn builds on itself and it will all come together by graduation. Sophomore year I felt like I was learning so much information that I would never need to know in practice, but being at clinical I notice those details coming up and coming together. 

What resource or service has been essential to your academic success?

Google calendar has been essential to my time management. Without it I would never remember everything that I need to do. It is an easy way to block off class and study time, as well as self care time! 

What are your career goals after finishing your degree?

After graduation I hope to get an RN position working with children- whether that be in a hospital setting or public health setting. In the future, I see myself getting into administration and possibly getting an MHA or DNP degree. 

What student activities are you involved in?

I am currently apart of the CLARION board, a member of the Students Committee on Bioethics, a member of the University of Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps, and was a member of the Minnesota Swim Club Team.

What drew you to CHIP?

I learned about CHIP when I found that there was an open student position my sophomore year. Over the two years I have worked in CHIP, I have learned about the many opportunities that CHIP offers for AHC students and have increasingly become more involved. 

What is your favorite place on campus for food or to de-compress?

Haiku is favorite place to eat and CHIP is my favorite place to relax. :)

Thu Ha Nguyen, PharmD Candidate

Thu Ha Nguyen, PharmD Candidate

image of a PharmD studentWhy did you choose the U and your program?

I chose pharmacy at the University of Minnesota because of balance and flexibility. The program provides a perfect balance of opportunities for direct patient care, professional advancement, rigorous coursework, and community engagement with a strong support network. Additionally, pharmacy is uniquely flexible by providing endless exciting and diverse career pathways. I like the U because of the feeling of independence while still being close to my family.

What is something you wish you knew before you started your program?

Don’t stop being curious. A great thing about pharmacy at the U is the wealth of opportunities. Stay open-minded and it will take you to the most innovative places, especially when there are endless opportunities in pharmacy.

What resource or service has been essential to your academic success?

I would have to say the library. I like to be relaxed while staying productive at the same time. The library provides the space for me to study at my own pace while offers an environment to stay focused.

What are your career goals?

One of my career goals is to be a well-rounded pharmacist where I aim to practice at the top of my license to provide the best care for patients. Another goal that I have is to promote the pharmacy profession by working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals.  

What student activities are you involved in?

I have the privilege to be part of and contributed to many great student led organizations throughout my pharmacy career. I was a former program coordinator for MPSO and currently I am a pharmacy representative for IDSO, operation heart coordinator for MPSA.

What drew you to CHIP?

I am attracted to CHIP because of the opportunity to connect with other healthcare professional students. I met many great friends and partnerships through CHIP. Most importantly, CHIP connects me with future teammates who I will work with to care for patients.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the Tavern on the Hill. It is the spot for my friends and I to vent while munching away on my favorite Thai chili chicken wings after a brutal exam while knowing that we are going through the journey together called pharmacy school.

Angelina Omodt-Lopez, MD Candidate

Angelina Omodt-Lopez, MD Candidate

Why did you choose the U and your program?image of student

What is something you wish you knew before you started your program?

Learning is a process. Becoming a doctor is a process. Trust the process.  It sounds simple, but I really struggled to understand that in order to digest all this material, I would need to re-learn it many times. I sometimes felt panicked, thinking if I forgot a single detail it could eventually mean the difference between a patient’s life or death. However, the art of medicine is not a new one, and essential life-or-death details are taught over and over again.

What resource or service has been essential to your academic success?

My classmates -- The U has done an excellent job at cultivating a community of learners whose goal is to support each other and help each other learn.

What are your career goals?

I plan to help build emergency medicine training programs in areas around the world that currently lack that infrastructure. I hope to always practice patient-centered care and to always work to improve the healthcare system.

What student activities are you involved in?

Institute for Healthcare Improvement UMN Chapter (Co-Director), Puerto Rico Empowerment through Neurodevelopmental Education (President), Global Health Interest Group (treasurer), Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (Medical Clinician).

What drew you to CHIP?

CHIP is a place where students can work together in a way similar to how we will work once we graduate: in interprofessional teams.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

It’s a little bit of a hike from Moos Tower, but I love Bordertown Coffee. Comfy couches for napping, delicious espresso for studying, and an environment to keep you warm through Minnesota winters.

Caitlyn Rize, DVM Candidate

Caitlyn Rize, DVM Candidate

Image of Vetmed student with puppies School/Program: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine  (UMN CVM)

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I ultimately chose Minnesota because of the deep-sense of community that I felt during my interview weekend. I interacted with many students during that weekend, and each student seemed genuinely happy to be a Gopher. I already knew that UMN’s College of Veterinary Medicine was a top program with a huge hospital caseload, but being able to connect with people in the program on a deeper, more sincere level than I felt at other programs completely sealed the deal for me. I also love the midwestern ideals with an urban setting in the Twin Cities.

What is something you wish you knew before you started your program?

I wish I knew how important a long (below the knee) down coat was. I didn’t purchase one until the end of my first Minnesota winter, and putting it on was a complete “aha” moment for me.

What resource or service has been essential to your academic success?

I’m going to stray from this question a bit, and say that the emphasis on community in my program has been the most essential for my academic success. DVM programs are highly competitive to get into, so many of my classmates have been fighting curves and competition in order to gain admittance. From day one of our first-year orientation, the CVM immediately kiboshed these feelings among our peers. Thanks to the CVM’s emphasis on group-based learning and the overall community mentality among my classmates, we have become each other’s biggest advocates for success. We constantly share study resources, hold group sessions, and generally lift each other up to enable us all to be successful.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate goal is to utilize my science training and DVM degree to provide a service to society. If I could design my dream job, I would open a veterinary clinic/rescue on the edge of Detroit and Grosse Pointe in my home state of Michigan. The border between these two cities is one of the starkest income disparity lines in the entire country, and I dream of utilizing the wealth of greater Detroit suburbs  to provide social services to marginalized communities (of humans and animals!) within the city-limits. One example of a program that I hope to accomplish in my future is a mobile veterinary unit complete with social workers to help connect clients with their own human healthcare resources while providing veterinary care for their pets.

What student activities are you involved in?

    1. Veterinary Treatment Outreach for Urban Community Health -- President

    2. Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment -- Member

    3. Shelter Medicine Club -- Member

    4. Student American Veterinary Medical Association -- Member

    5. “50 Shades of Spay” intramural sports team

What drew you to CHIP?

I have a background in social work so merging fields to enhance health outcomes is a natural goal of mine.  The only way to make progress is to begin fostering conversations between the countless fields in the world of health, so CHIP provides me an opportunity to forge partnerships for my future. I also enjoy being a spokesperson for vet med and explaining to traditional health professions why veterinary professionals are incredibly important (and often underappreciated). Veterinarians are at the forefront of emerging infectious disease policies (~75% are zoonotic!), food safety, translational medicine research, and we hold countless other responsibilities that aren’t always recognized as being critical to population health.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

I am currently enrolled in 29 credits so I take advantage of every opportunity possible to escape campus! My favorite place that is close to campus is the Como Park area. I love to play soccer in my (sparse) free time and there is always pick-up/drop-in going on at McMurray fields when the weather cooperates. The Animal Humane Society is right across the street from the field, as well, and I love walking through the rescue and spending time with the shelter animals.

Henry Soderberg, MHA Candidate

Henry Soderberg, MHA Candidate

image of student Why did you choose the U and your program?

Top ranked program, opportunity for hands-on learning, high-touch and largest MHA alumni network, fell in love with the Twin Cities.

What is something you wish you knew before you started your program?

Live close to campus, commuting with two buses in the winter is no fun.

What resource or service has been essential to your academic success?

Good friendships, MHA alumni offering advice.

What are your career goals?

Improve the coordination of primary, acute, and post-acute care. Improve the patient experience and work environment for clinicians. Ensure the primacy of the patient-caregiver relationship. Innovate in caring for the significant aging baby-boomer population. Scale preventative primary care and reduce unnecessary acute and post-acute care. Have dogs.

What student activities are you involved in?

Founding and co-directing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School University of Minnesota Chapter. Project participant through IHI at Hennepin Healthcare’s Upstream Innovation group’s homeless housing tiny home pilot project.

What drew you to CHIP?

Meet health profession friends that provide direct care. A good environment, support, and physical space to create a hands-on project student group.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

Walking on the University of Minnesota bridge and along the Mississippi River. The combination of the mighty Mississippi river and beautiful Minneapolis.

Michaela Wermers, PharmD Candidate

Michaela Wermers, PharmD Candidate

Michaela WermersWhy did you choose the UMN and your program?

I have known that I wanted to go into healthcare since I was 10 years old, but I chose pharmacy specifically because I loved the opportunities it offered to provide patient centered care, to collaborate on an inter-professional team, and to work in numerous career settings once I graduated. I chose to attend the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy because it is not only one of the top pharmacy programs in the United States, but it also really focuses on how specifically the patient should be cared for rather than just about the medications themselves (we still get taught this a lot though!).

What is something you wished you knew before you started?

Something I wish I knew before I started pharmacy school is that I don't need to be involved in absolutely everything. Although a lot of the student groups at the College of Pharmacy are awesome, I got in over my head my first year with all of the student organizations and the two jobs I had. As a third year now, I have really dialed back and honed in on what I am really passionate about, but it would have been a good tip to have prior to entering my program!

What resource has been essential to your academic and professional success?

I would say that both CHIP and Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA) have both provided me with resources that have been essential to my professional success. Both organizations have provided me with positive educational, social, and service opportunities that enabled me to grow as a professional student and really find my place within the pharmacy world.

What are your career goals after finishing your degree?

After finishing my degree, I hope to obtain a pharmacy residency and then eventually go on to become a clinical pharmacist who rounds on the hospital floors with the rest of the interprofessional team. My current areas of interest include cardiology, critical care, and emergency medicine.

What student activities are you involved in?

This year I am serving as one of the Co-Chairs for the CHIP Executive Council. We focus on getting the word out to our fellow students about all of the cool interprofessional activities going on within the health professional programs & we plan events throughout the year too such as our Open House on October 3rd! I am also on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Pharmacists Association as the Twin Cities MPSA Student Liaison. This has been a great opportunity thus far as I have met a lot of pharmacists in the state and have learned about how we are trying to improve our practice. I also volunteer as a Student Ambassador for the College of Pharmacy and give tours to prospective students.

Why did you want to become engaged with CHIP?

During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in a student group called the Interprofessional Pre-Health Students (IPPHS) where I really learned that I want to collaborate on a healthcare team as a pharmacist. So, in my first year of pharmacy school when I heard about the opportunity to serve on the CHIP Executive Council, I absolutely knew I wanted to be involved. I am very passionate about interprofessionalism in general and thought it would be fun to serve on a council with students from other health professional programs that I would be professionals with in the future. CHIP is a great resource for all health professional students which is why I like informing my classmates about everything CHIP has to offer and engaging with them in interprofessional activities.

What is the value of interprofessional work?

The main value of interprofessional collaboration is that it provides the best quality of care to the patient. When the entire healthcare team is working together, everyone can be on the same page and really put the patient at the center of their care.

What is your favorite place on campus for food, to relax?

My favorite place on campus is Caribou Coffee. I probably would not have made it this far without having it so close by!

Simon Yang, MD Candidate

Simon Yang, MD Candidate

Simon YangWhy did you choose the UMN and your program?

Although I was born and grew up in Minnesota as a kid, I moved around a lot - living in S. Korea, Seattle, Ohio, Chicago, and Virginia. I wanted to come back full circle and make new memories here. The fact that my dad did his PhD also contributed to my decision. Objectively, the U was a great place for medical education with various clinical sites throughout Minnesota and many programs to personally tailor my medical educational experience.

What is something you wished you knew before you started?

I wished I knew more about the winter! The snow storm during late April was really tough! While hindsight is always 20-20, I wished I knew that Minnesota has a lot of fun activities to offer during the summer/fall. When I first came to school, I wished that I spent more time exploring the beautiful lakes and trails around the area!

What resource or service has been essential to your academic and professional success?

My peers have been most essential in regards to both academic and social aspects of medical school. They are the ones who are by your side late at night before the exam to console you, encourage you, and motivate you. I also can’t forget to mention faculty members, such as Dr. Nikakhtar and Dr. Slattery, have been helpful. In regards to professional growth, CHIP was a great resource. Everyone knows that healthcare is not an individual effort, but more of a team effort. CHIP allowed me to meet and understand various health professionals that I ought to know!

What are your career goals after finishing your degree?

Foremost, I hope to become a very good clinician who can deliver the best care to my patients. I also want to contribute to healthcare in a more comprehensive scale. I’m not sure if that would be through research or through some other form, yet.

What student activities are you involved in?

I am serving as the executive co-chair for CHIP! This year we are building upon previous years’ efforts on making CHIP available to various interprofessional student groups and organizing events to introduce various opportunities within CHIP. We have an upcoming Open house on October 3rd 2018, in the CHIP Lounge and you should come! Seriously. I’m also involved with the medical student council and part of a medical fraternity, Phi Chi.

Why did you want to become engaged with CHIP?

During my undergraduate years studying biomedical engineering, I got to know the various professionals involved in developing a biomedical device. I actually got an opportunity to learn about those disciplines - taking an industrial design class for product design - or working alongside them - making prototypes with surgeons and developing marketing strategies with MBA students. My appreciation for interprofessional collaboration carried over into medical school, but I wasn’t sure how this would manifest in medical school. Then, I found CHIP! With the complexity in how healthcare is delivered, I thought meeting and collaborating with interprofessional students was very enticing.

What is the value of IP work?

The value of IP work is not only its ability to understand different perspectives, but also its ability to solve complex and multi-faceted problems/projects. And patient care is multi-faceted and complex in nature both clinically and logistically!

What is your favorite place on campus for food, to relax?

Getting a 8 piece Chick-fil-a chicken nugget with an assortment of sauces from Coffman during a lazy Friday lunch is a healing experience. Also, walking along the river during a sunset is a good way to escape for a bit.