Senior Salute 2014 - Beatrice Nichols
“I have been most influenced by my community service experiences and clinical internships because they have kept me grounded in a passion for service and a commitment to pursuing medicine. The community members and health care professionals I have met through these opportunities have strengthened my resolve and desire to understand what it is to be a service-oriented professional.”
Beatrice Nichols has always had a passion to serve.
Growing up in Chicago, Ill.; San Jose, Costa Rica; Concepcion, Chile; and Springfield, Ohio, Nichols has had a number of experiences that led her to pursue a dual major in Spanish and Biology, with a pre-medicine track, and a minor in Health Sciences.
“I became interested in medicine through my high school biology and human anatomy/physiology classes, and I later decided to pursue becoming a physician after going on several mission trips abroad,” Nichols recalls. “I want an occupation in which I can serve others and can be of use anywhere I might go. Pursuing Spanish, as I could speak it fluently since childhood, seemed only a reasonable thing to do, especially since there is such a great need for bilinguals in health care.”
After graduation, Nichols hopes to attend medical school or take a year off to pursue additional service and training opportunities.
“I'm interested in training to become a medical interpreter in Spanish in the meantime. Plus, I would like to do some mission trips out of the country if possible and do additional volunteer work related to health care.”
As Nichols reflects on Wittenberg’s service-oriented environment, she recognized how professors and peers serve each other both in and out of the classroom.
“Wittenberg is one of the best universities for professor-student interaction, and you will receive the help and attention that you need to succeed in college from outstanding professors who are exceptional at what they do. Here, professors are invested in you as a student and as an individual—they are always approachable and many times will approach you with helpful information and abundant support. There is a huge sense of community and fidelity here at Wittenberg—not only are the professors approachable, but so are all of your peers,” Nichols says.
“Through a commitment to service, Wittenberg teaches you the importance of giving back what you learn to the community. In many ways, these service opportunities help shape who you are as an individual and as a member of society.”
Her advice to future students: take a variety of courses.
“The liberal arts approach of Wittenberg encourages the development of a well-rounded person. I have taken classes in numerous departments outside of my majors and each one has allowed me to learn more about the world and myself, whether it be through talking about ancient Greece and athletics or discussing the fine points of modern linguistics and American dialects; I have not regretted a single general education course I've taken, and my only complaint is that I did not have time to take more.”