After receiving their acceptance to the B.S./M.D. program at Marshall University, the newest class decided to start a group chat to get to know one another before officially beginning their path to become doctors.
Through their group chat, these proactive students learned about Community Cares Week, a new effort seeking volunteers to spruce up the Marshall University campus, and they decided they wanted to participate.
“I just wanted us to have a group chat because I wanted to get to know everyone. I’m pretty sure everyone felt that way,” Student Brooklyn Johnson said. “I decided to do the Community Cares Week because I wanted to meet everyone in person, and I thought it would be great to start out by improving our campus at the same time.”
The students spent their volunteer time tilling up the ground to plant new flowers and rose bushes outside of Prichard Hall.
“My favorite part of volunteering during this event was meeting and getting to know the other B.S./M.D. students as well as planting a rose bush that I'll be able to point out and see as I walk to class every day,” Student Abbie Culicerto said.
While volunteering, the students also learned about “Herd Dirt,” worm castings made from waste from the dining halls and offices on campus. Herd Dirt is part of the green initiative on campus to reduce waste and lower the university’s carbon footprint. The composting facility, designed and operated by the university’s Sustainability Department, led by Amy Parsons-White, is the first of its kind in West Virginia.
President Brad D. Smith and Director of the B.S./M.D. program Jennifer Plymale also joined the students during their landscaping activities and welcomed them to campus.
“Marshall is for dreamers and doers,” Smith said. “These incoming students haven’t officially taken their first class, yet they are totally committed to helping others in their collegiate community. I’m so proud of their initiative and have no doubt they will make compassionate, dedicated physicians.”
Although many of them have visited Marshall’s campus before, this event allowed them to meet Marshall staff and faculty.
“My favorite part of the event was getting to know everyone and talking with the Marshall staff who were all so nice and encouraging,” Johnson said. “It made me even more excited for this upcoming school year. This was not my first time on campus, but I was still so impressed by the kindness of all the faculty and employees that I met. Honestly, they are some of the kindest people I have ever met.”
After their hard work, the students imagined what life will be like when they move to campus and classes begin in the fall.
“I thoroughly look forward to beginning my educational journey,” Student Brooke Ooten said. “I also look forward to adjusting to university life and living on my own. Both the educational and independence-fostering aspects of college are significant, so I'd have to say that I'm thrilled for both.”
“When classes start, I am looking forward to meeting new people and starting my journey in expanding my mind,” Johnson said. “I hope for this upcoming semester to grow into a better, more knowledgeable person, and build relationships along the way. I look forward to the next seven years with this team.”
The B.S./M.D. program was established in 2015 as a pathway for high-performing West Virginia students to finish both their Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees in seven years. The new class joins 34 B.S./M.D. students currently in medical school and 28 students in the undergraduate portion of the curriculum.
Date Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2022