For Michaela Katz ’13, nearly every moment of her time at Union helped clear the path to where she is today: at Duke University School of Medicine, pursuing a master’s degree and a career as a physician assistant.
Michaela had been at Union only a few months when she traveled with the College’s chapter of MEDLIFE to Cusco, Peru. There she assisted the organization in providing basic health services to the underserved indigenous community and discovered a passion for caring for others.
Before the trip, Michaela was an engineering major. Afterward, “I could see health care in my future. I wanted to follow up, to explore other options,” she says.
Michaela turned to Professor Carol Weisse, director of the Health Professions Program. Soon, Michaela was volunteering in the Emergency Department at Albany Memorial Hospital and interning at the Joan Nicole Prince Home for terminally ill residents.
“The Health Professions Office is a huge source of support, whatever you decide you want to do,” Michaela says. “They’re willing to help and direct you in any way possible.”
She changed her major to neuroscience and began laying the academic foundation for graduate study. During junior year, she participated in the National Health Systems term abroad, exploring health care systems in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Extracurricular activities rounded out her experience and strengthened her leadership skills. As a Union soccer player and captain, Michaela learned the importance of teamwork. With Delta Delta Delta Sorority, she raised funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my education at Union and all the different opportunities I had,” Michaela says. “I really value my Union experience.”