Student Leader

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Grace Miller, College of Veterinary Medicine

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I am passionate about veterinary medicine because it is a field that sits in a unique position within healthcare. As a veterinarian you get the opportunity to work at the intersection of environmental, animal, and human health.

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

It’s going to be hard, but don’t be afraid to reach out for help!

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

The libraries! From the perfect study spot to the vast resources available either online or in person, the libraries have been essential to my academic career. 

What are your career goals?

My future career goals center around wildlife conservation, epidemiology, and the management of our free-ranging wildlife populations.

What student activities are you involved in?

I am a co-chair for Health Students for a Healthy Climate, which is a CHIP organization, and then within the College of Veterinary Medicine I am Ecology Chair for our One Health Club and President of our school’s chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association.

What drew you to CHIP?

I was drawn to CHIP because of the interprofessional aspect. As a veterinary student on the St. Paul campus we are extremely isolated from the other health schools and it’s refreshing to be around other students with different backgrounds and/or training.

What is your favorite place on campus and why? 

My favorite spot on campus is the St. Paul greenhouses. Within the greenhouse there are a handful of different rooms each mimicking a different climate/biome. It’s surreal stepping into a hot desert when it’s below freezing outside.

Jack Keilty, School of Medicine

Why did you choose the U and your program?

After 8 years of living in the state of Minnesota, I knew this is where I would love to practice as a physician. Between the people, the culture, the great outdoors, the diversity and more, there are so many reasons why I wanted to stay here. Therefore, the U was always my number one. After one year, I feel this experience has gone above and beyond expectations. My classmates and colleagues are awesome, my program has ample opportunities, and I feel empowered to thrive in my profession.

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

Honestly, I would tell myself that there is no rush and to live in the present. In saying that, I would tell myself to get to know my classmates and colleagues more. It seems every person I meet has an incredible story full of unique experiences and outlooks, and there’s a lot to learn from that. 

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

Our academic, peer, and faculty advisors have been key to finding opportunities or just reflecting on my career path. The CHIP staff have also been so hopeful in guiding my student organization. Also, shoutout to Anki. 

What are your career goals?

In my mind, I would love to be an Emergency Medicine Physician in a “rural hub” much like Winona. However, life changes; Who knows what’s in store!

What student activities are you involved in?

I am the co-director of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s UMN Chapter. I am also the CHIP liaison for the Medical School Student Council, the Anki club VP, an Emergency Medicine Interest Group board member, and a member of Nu Sigma Nu Medical Fraternity.

What drew you to CHIP?

I believe in building interprofessional relationships because patients need a team who know each other’s roles and responsibilities. CHIP has allowed me to get to know other health-professions, and I value that.

What is your favorite place on campus and why? 

As cliché as it is, 7th floor HSEC. The windows and free tea get me.

Marissa Sandkuhler, Master's of Healthcare Administration

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I have always known I wanted to be in healthcare, but after trying a pre-nursing program, I realized that my strengths may not lie in being a direct care provider. After learning of health disparities and the impact that policy and the healthcare system have on population health, I realized I could make a difference for patients as an administrator. As I was looking at MHA programs, I was extremely impressed with the coursework offered, principles implemented within the curriculum, and expansive alumni network at the U.

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

Before I started my program, I wish I would have had more volunteer or work experience in a clinical setting. It has been interesting to learn about how a health system functions, but I think I could have applied my learnings better if I was able to have some form of experiential comparison to frame this information with.

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

One resource I have found very valuable is my alumni mentor assigned through the School of Public Health. She is an experienced professional who has done very well in the healthcare industry and has helped me to further reflect on the route I want to take my career path and how I can accomplish my goals.

What are your career goals?

After graduation, I hope to obtain an administrative fellowship where I have the opportunity to work on various projects throughout a large health system. Subsequently, I would ideally move into hospital operations and eventually strategy so that I can build a more positive patient experience and promote equitable access to care.

What student activities are you involved in?

I am involved in various student organizations such as IHI and the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic. I have participated in the CLARION and Ohio State Case Competitions; I enjoyed participating in CLARION so much that I am now the co-chair for the organization.

What drew you to CHIP?

My mom is a nurse, and I have heard from her that there is often tension between direct providers and healthcare administrators. CHIP is an organization that helps to break down communication barriers early in our careers and helps to facilitate healthy and mutually understanding conversations. Being involved with a variety of students in interprofessional settings helps me to see healthcare situations from different perspectives.

What is your favorite place on campus and why? 

I had online classes my entire first year due to COVID, so I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to explore campus much. I can say that my most frequented place on campus is Caribou Coffee, though!

Sally Jeon, School of Medicine

Sally Jeon

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

This is a difficult question! I am initially thinking of all the things I didn't know before starting my program. I'm not convinced that my learnings this past year were things I wish I knew before starting my program - I feel I came to know them as I experienced them at the right moment in time.

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

HSEC study spaces, faculty mentors, upperclass mentors, OED, spending time outdoors, medical school specific advisors and resources, exploring the community, getting involved in student orgs.

What are your career goals?

To be a darn good doc. While I consider myself to be in an early stage for my professional career with a lot of room for transformation, my main north star is aligning myself with underserved communities towards health equity & justice.

What student activities are you involved in? 

The Ladder, SNMA, APAMSA, WC4BL, BIPOC Health Professional Student Collective, Medical Education Reform Student Coalition, Addiction Medicine Student Interest Group.

What drew you to CHIP?

I was drawn to expanding community with healthcare professional students outside of medical school. Prior to medical school, I developed an appreciation for grappling with the nuances and complexities in healthcare, especially through my work in clinic operations for a school-based health center and a free clinic. I value understanding the unique and overlapping contributions of each staff member, building individual relationships within a healthcare team, and fostering a collaborative culture while working towards a collective goal.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

I love riding my bike across the bridge connecting east to west bank during sunset.

Sarah Kenney, College of Veterinary Medicine

Why did you choose the U and your program?

Out of all the interviews I attended for vet school, the University of Minnesota made me feel at home the most. I knew it was the right choice just from the friendly and inviting environment I experienced on my interview day. I probably have aspired to be a veterinarian since I was 6 years old and this took me on a journey of a variety of veterinary experiences prior to vet school. One experience in particular involved research on the canine intestinal microbiome. Because of the intersection between human and canine lifestyles, there is considerable overlap between microbial composition and function of the human and canine intestinal microbiome. This opened the door to the world of comparative medicine for me. It was the environment, the veterinary education as well as the comparative medicine program that made choosing the University of Minnesota a no brainer!

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

Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards. I never used them in undergrad and now (this semester in particular). I don’t know what I would do without them.

What student activities are you involved in? Tell us about them!

I am co-president and founder of CHIP’s new student organization, Zoobiquity. Along with the help of my inspiring co-president, Alison Leslie, Zoobiquity has developed into a 13-member interprofessional, leadership team. Our goal is to foster interprofessional communication, collaboration, and learning among students of different health professions on what is shared between human and animal clinical medicine. We want to inspire more transdisciplinary connection through case competitions, journal clubs, insight into the on-going research projects (relating to comparative medicine) at the University of Minnesota, and additional educational opportunities/events for understanding translational medicine and its benefits for all patient health.

The inspiration behind starting this student organization was largely because of my experience with comparative medicine and a desire to explore this field further with my peers. However, much of the inspiration came from the content of the book titled, Zoobiquity, by Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. The author defines the term, zoobiquity, as “uniting the cultures of human and animal medicine”. Thus, the student organization, Zoobiquity, as its name suggests, was created for the purpose of uniting the cultures (students) of human and animal medicine and to emphasize how awareness of their similarities could change the outcome of patient health.

How do students get involved in your group? How do students get involved in your group?

They can join our email list and all are welcome to check out our website for more information!

What are your career goals after finishing your degree?

I would like to specialize in small animal (dogs and cats) oncology. Prior to vet school, I worked in the oncology department of a veterinary specialty hospital for 3 years and never looked back. I find it incredibly rewarding to know there are many treatment options for our four-legged cancer patients and I want to be a part of it. Plus, I am an immunology and pathology nerd! I also hope to incorporate comparative oncology research into my career and down the road, I see myself owning a practice or fulfilling an executive position within a veterinary specialty hospital.

What is your favorite thing to do while staying safe at home?

I love to cook from scratch! I make fresh pasta, bread, pizza, granola, jam, muffins… you name it. It really is a wonder how I manage to eat it all.

 

Chelsea Bolier, College of Pharmacy

Chelsea Bolier

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I chose pharmacy very early on - back in high school! I knew I wanted to do something in healthcare, but pharmacy really stood out to me as an opportunity to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with patients while also working alongside other professionals. I grew up in a northern suburb of Saint Paul, so I was familiar with the reputation that the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy holds as the #2 ranked pharmacy school nationwide. I wanted to learn from the best, and I knew that the U was the place I needed to be!

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

I wish I would have known more about communication and networking! Those are skills that are extremely useful in pharmacy and beyond, and I can always learn more about how to be better at connecting with others. 

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

Self-care has been essential to my success as a student in pharmacy school. Professional schools can be very stressful, so taking the time to support my own health and well-being has been extremely important to me. To me, this means spending time doing activities that “fill up my cup” such as spending time with friends and family outside of school, meditation, listening to calming music, playing with my dog, etc. I found many resources available on campus and online to learn more about how to support myself in a professional program!

What are your career goals?

My goal is to be a pharmacist on an interprofessional healthcare team. Whether that is on the front lines of patient care or behind the scenes, I want to work with other professionals to help improve patient outcomes. 

What student activities are you involved in?

I am a CHIP representative for the College of Pharmacy as well as a Co-Chair of the CHIP executive board. I am also involved in Primary Care Progress, Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Leadership Fraternity, Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance, College of Pharmacy Student Ambassadors, and the Health Professions Pathways Initiative Student Advisory Board.

What drew you to CHIP?

Before I came to pharmacy school, I worked in a pharmacy that was looking to establish interprofessional teams to improve patient outcomes. I fell in love with the idea of an interprofessional healthcare team, so when the opportunity presented itself to get involved with CHIP I was ecstatic! I was intrigued about the opportunity to learn more about my profession by getting to know and work alongside other health professionals. 

What is your favorite place on campus and why? 

CHIP! I love the community space it provides for student leaders and organizations as well as the services they provide for professional students. I’m so excited to see the new space in the new building and how it can help transform the experience of professional students!

Susana Carlos, Master of Public Health

Susana Carlos

What motivated you to pursue a Master of Public Health (concentration in Community Health Promotion) at the University of Minnesota?

From 2018-2019, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA working with health professional students through CHIP programming. I attended all of the events and information sessions that I could. Overall, I felt support from staff, faculty, and students to pursue my interests. I felt comfortable and confident that I could navigate my career in Public Health at the University of Minnesota!

Are you involved in student activities? If so, please share your roles, current projects/activities you are supporting, how others can get involved, etc.

1. Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Team (EDIT) Co-Chair

EDIT is the School of Public Health’s action committee with the goal of improving the SPH climate through staff, faculty, and student collaboration. We provide Edible Education events where we watch a preselected TedTalk followed by a roundtable discussion and support Diversity & Equity-focused programming through planning as well as logistic support. As a Co-Chair, I am establishing relationships with other Diversity-oriented entities and student organizations, as well as leading strategic planning for the organization. EDIT programming is open to all School of Public Health students or any students taking Public Health courses. For students of any program but an interest in Public Health, if you have anything you would like to lead a discussion on or present, contact me so we can talk!

2. Diversity Matters Member & Interim President

Diversity Matters is a School of Public Health student organization working closely with EDIT and other Diversity-oriented student organizations, to improve the student experience through community-building and skill-building programming. Diversity Matters has been the lead on the annual Our Voices Matter project, aimed at collecting and communicating SPH student experiences. For the Spring, Diversity Matters is planning a Potluck, Poetry Slam, and another round of Our Voices Matter. This group is open to students of the School of Public Health. We would love to establish relationships with students from other programs to put on more interprofessional programming and events!

3. Interprofessional LGBTQIA+ Conference Co-Planner

I am working with an interprofessional group of students (including Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, & Pharmacy) to plan the first annual Interprofessional LGBTQIA+ Conference (April 17th, 2020 registration information to come) that serves to highlight critical health issues experienced by this population and how, as health professionals, we can make health more inclusive. If you are interested in getting involved, reach out to me ([email protected]) and join the planning committee!

How were you introduced to CHIP and what drew you to CHIP programming?

As mentioned previously, I worked with CHIP-so this was my first homebase as a transplant to Minnesota. I already loved the programming that was taking place and appreciate the structure supporting student-led initiatives! Public Health is already interdisciplinary and I look forward to spaces where I can connect with my peers across programs!

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming health professional students?

Know yourself, learn to balance your work-life schedule because this is a constant journey, & get involved with groups/programs/volunteering that aligns with your personal passions. While school takes priority, it is the lessons that we learn outside of the classroom and the relationships that we make that we carry forward into our professional careers.

Teale Greylord, School of Public Health

Teale Greylord

Why did you choose the U and your program?

The U has provided me a foundational knowledge of public health and allowed me to personalize my experience. I chose the Maternal & Child Health Program, because I am interested in learning how to effectively create sustainable behavior change that targets individuals, families, and communities. I knew this was the right place for me after meeting the people. Everyone here is incredibly passionate, welcoming, and supportive. And for me, that is exactly what public health is all about.

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

There are going to be more opportunities than you can possibly imagine and you can’t do it all. It is really important to know your personal limits, practice saying no, and prioritize time for self-care.

What resources or services have been essential to your academic success?

There is an incredible amount of support available, which has had a profound impact on my experience here. I receive a lot of one-on-one support from program staff, student services, and my advisor. The Career & Professional Development Center and Office for Equity & Diversity (OED) have really invested in my personal and professional skill set. And the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health has completely reshaped how I think about and approach public health.

What are your career goals?

My goal is to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), then continue my work in the anti-violence movement. I have over a decade of experience providing education to high-risk children and families. My hope is to increase the level of impact I am able to have - through the application of public health practices.

What student activities are you involved in?

  • School of Public Health - Student Senate (Vice President)

  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Team (EDIT) member

  • Diversity Matters (Chairperson)

What drew you to CHIP and What experiences/involvement have you had in CHIP programming?

As a new student with an interest in leadership, professional development, and social connection; I was encouraged to attend CHIP’s annual Health Professional Student Leadership Conference. That conference is where I began developing my closest friendships on campus. I then attended CHIP Dialogue Circles, which supported diversity and equity work being done by students. I continue to stay involved with CHIP, as we share a collective passion for interdisciplinary growth and development.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

On the 2nd floor of the Institute of Child Development, there is a sunny little spot at the top of the stairs with comfy couches that are surrounded by potted plants. It overlooks floor to ceiling windows, with a beautiful view of native trees. It is a quiet little nook that really invites you to pause, meditate, or take a break; especially in the middle of winter.

Benjamin Grothe, Master of Healthcare Administration

Benjamin Grothe

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I chose the MHA program at the University of Minnesota because it provided the best value to me as a novice to healthcare administration. It offers an established and highly rated curriculum, invested alumni working in a variety of health organizations across the country, experiential learning opportunities in an innovative healthcare environment, a focus on problem solving, and scholarships that surpassed all other programs I considered.

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

Healthcare services are shifting from the traditional clinical setting to a focus on addressing social determinants of health outside of hospitals and clinics. The greatest impact future healthcare leaders can make in the lives of patients will likely look much different than it does today. Embrace that change and explore innovative opportunities.

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

A daily planner

What are your career goals after finishing your degree?

I will complete a year-long administrative fellowship at Cleveland Clinic and pursue a department administrator position to improve the delivery of care after graduation. My long-term goal is to work alongside doctors, nurses, and other caregivers to innovate the delivery of care and disease management in a Midwest health system.

What student activities are you involved in?

I currently serve as a co-chair of CLARION, clerk coordinator for Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, and student ambassador for the School of Public Health. Each of these organizations have allowed me to build so many great relationships and skills in their own unique ways.

What drew you to CHIP?

My involvement with CLARION has allowed me to learn about the need for the interprofessional collaboration in healthcare and the work that CHIP is doing to empower it. I have been impressed with the opportunities CHIP and its student organizations provide students and hope to advance them in my final year at the U.

What is your favorite thing to do while staying safe at home during these times?

I enjoy staying up to date on recent events in healthcare with Google Alerts for my favorite organizations and updates from Becker's Hospital Review. I also like connecting with mentors, friends, and other healthcare professionals.

In what ways have you engaged with peers through virtual means?

I have enjoyed staying in touch with friends through Zoom happy hours and different initiatives we are working on together. The murder of George Floyd sparked the creation of an anti-racist reading club in my cohort, and that has been a great source of connection and learning for me.

Pa Nhia Her, School of Dentistry

Pa Nhia Her

Why did you choose the U and your program?

I am from Minnesota and wanted to stay closer to home.

How have the recent changes to campus services and classes impacted you and your program?

As of right now, all of our classes are online. Preclinical lab and clinical work is postponed.

Do you have time management tips that you rely on for working from home?

I try to wake up at the same time I would be if school was still in session, make a to do list for all of the things I need to get done, and fill in a printable calendar with updated due dates for homework assignments and exams.

In what ways have you engaged with peers through virtual means?

The School of Dentistry has put together some fun Zoom “workshops” facilitated by students. I am signed up in several, including Coffee Conversations, Zumba, Cooking/Baking Demonstrations, and Cultural Conversations.

What ways do you hope to engage with peers or with CHIP while things are changing?

I hope that we can still have monthly meetings via Zoom. I really enjoy the leadership activities that we do during our meetings and I hope that we can continue those during Zoom meetings. 

What is your favorite thing to do while staying safe at home during these times?

I love spending time with my siblings. I am the oldest of six children and we rarely spend quality time together due to school and work. I also enjoy having dinner with my parents and hearing stories about their childhood.

Amy Holec, School of Nursing

Amy Holec

Why 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. :)

Elle Lyons, Physical Therapy Program

Elle Lyons

School/Program

Doctor of Physical Therapy program within the Medical School’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Why did you choose the U and your program?

One big incentive to attend the U’s program is its stellar graduation and licensure pass rate. I also wanted to live in a city during my grad experience, and I’m happy to call the Twin Cities home now.

How have the recent changes to campus services and classes impacted you and your program?

Our program made the shift to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester and the coming summer semester. They are working hard to explore what clinical experiences will look like for our third years in this time.

Do you have time management tips that you rely on for working from home?

Block out time as if it were any other work or school day. Without a need to travel I have been fortunate to have the chance to carve out new pockets of time to fill with hobbies, my dog, and quality time with my wife.

In what ways have you engaged with peers through virtual means?

Zoom study sessions! Phone calls with peers with no purpose other than to catch up and stay connected.

What ways do you hope to engage with peers or with CHIP while things are changing?

When this all started, it amazed me how much I missed my peers and our time in class together. I hope that we continue to seek ways to support one another as we navigate the many unknowns ahead.

What is your favorite thing to do while staying safe at home during these times?

Taking mid-day long walks with my wife and dog down Saint Anthony Main, since we live in the neighborhood. It’s a luxury we haven’t had before, so it is refreshing to take time together like we otherwise aren’t able to do.

Thu Ha Nguyen, College of Pharmacy

Thu Ha Nguyen

Why 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, School of Medicine

Angelina Omodt-Lopez

Why did you choose the U and your program?

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.

Ian Passe, School of Public Health

Ian Passe

What motivated you to pursue a Master of Public Health (concentrations in Global Environmental Health & Epidemiology) at the University of Minnesota?

I decided to pursue a Master of Public Health at the U because of a chance encounter that I had with Professor Craig Hedberg over the summer. My partner and I were biking in the woods, enjoying a beautiful Minnesota summer, when we ran into Dr. Hedberg and his wife who were on a run. He convinced me that the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health offered a broad enough program that I could pursue my passion for the environment and my passion for improving human health. Six months into the program and I have to admit that he was right!

Are you involved in student activities? If so, please share your roles, current projects/activities you are supporting, how others can get involved, etc.

  • School of Public Health Student Senate (Senator, subcommittee chair)

  • Professional Student Government (School of Public Health Representative)

  • Global Health Student Advisory Board (Member) 

  • 1st annual Interprofessional LGBTQIA+ Health Conference Co-Organizer 

How were you introduced to CHIP and what drew you to CHIP programming?

I was introduced to CHIP through the CHIP Health Professional Student Leadership Conference that was held by CHIP in November of 2019. I attended the conference at the recommendation of a good friend and had an excellent experience meeting students who came from different academic programs, backgrounds, with different experiences and knowledge bases. 

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming health professional students?

Never say no to an invite! (unless of course you are busy, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, drained, emotionally unavailable or sleeping)

Caitlyn Rize, College of Veterinary Medicine

Caitlyn Rize

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, School of Public Health

Henry Soderberg

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, College of Pharmacy

Michaela Wermers

Why 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, School of Medicine

Simon Yang

Why 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.