Lacey Gibson | LCIT | SIU

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Lacey Gibson

Accepted to Summer Pre-Med Program in Nice, France

Health and travel have always been my undeniable passions. As a junior Pre-Medicine Presidential Scholar and French, History, and Chemistry Minor at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, I have devoted a considerable amount of time and effort into pursuit of these two interests. In order to fulfill my passion for health, I have involved myself in shadowing local medical professionals, participating in Division I athletics, and investing in research. The latter of these pursuits has had the greatest influence on my undergraduate career and instilled my desire to pursue an MD/PhD program after graduating in 2015. Since 2011, I have worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Buck Hales, head of SIU’s Physiology Department. During my time in the lab, I have studied the link between metabolism and ovarian cancer with support from Research Rookies, Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity, and REACH awards. I have delivered poster and oral presentations at local and international research forums, including the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Research Town Hall Meeting, STLAURS, Sigma Xi Virtual Research Showcase, and SSR in Montreal. Additionally, I participated in the University of Colorado Cancer Center Summer Research Fellowship in 2013. Thus, my research has been an outlet and a tool to enhance my passion for health.

My passion for travel has also shaped my undergraduate career at home and away from the university. As a group leader for Habitat for Humanity, I have constructed homes in neighborhoods in need in various areas throughout the continental United States. I have also focused effort into enhancing education and access to basic needs in Africa by creating a charity race for water wells in Zimbabwe, organizing a coloring book drive for orphans in Zambia, and teaching in a primary school in Kenya during the summer of 2012. However, my favorite area that I have visited is undoubtedly France. I have passed through Paris twice on family vacations, and each time, my desire to further immerse myself in French culture was exponentially increased. France is a nation that boasts the number one healthcare system, and is home to a population of individuals to which the “French Paradox” of indulgence in moderation was named. Moreover, the elegant French language is a subject of great fascination. Simply stated, experiencing life and healthcare at its finest in France is a great fantasy of mine. I am forever influenced by my passions for human health and travel to France. Therefore, I am truly excited for what my future travels have to bring.

This summer, I will be participating in Washington University’s France for the Pre-Med program in Nice. As a part of this program, I will be shadowing physicians at a major hospital and enrolled in a class on Medicine in French Literature, all while soaking in the scene of the French health care system. In my spare time, I plan to conduct research on the role of indulging in wine and chocolate in answering the “French Paradox” for my Honor Thesis and enjoying the country’s natural beauty with my home-stay family. I am truly grateful for the preparation for this adventure that my education at Southern Illinois University has provided me, and I look forward to channeling my passions for health and travel into future international experiences.