Student Stories: The "Outstanding" Undergrad

Student Stories: The Outstanding Undergrad
Posted on 06/24/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Student Stories: The Outstanding UndergradName: Courtney Wood
Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences

Courtney was recently named Outstanding Undergraduate at the SRPMIC Graduation Recognition Dinner. Congratulations on all your many accomplishments, Courtney!

Courtney Wood receives the Higher Education "Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year" award at the SRPMIC Graduate Recognition Dinner.

Tell us about your educational background.
I graduated from Mountain View High School in 2015 as a member of the National Honor Society and the National Native American Honor Society. I got accepted to Arizona State University and then into Barrett, the Honors College within ASU for my undergrad, graduating in May 2019 with a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences and a minor in art history.

Describe your most rewarding college experience(s).
The most rewarding college experiences were studying abroad, becoming part of the first Native American sorority, doing an internship at the emergency room at HonorHealth Osborn Medical Center, being a teacher’s aide for one of my professors, and completing my thesis project and successfully defending it.

What are your future plans?
I am currently applying to the Master of Science in Medical Nutrition program at ASU for fall 2019. This is what I am planning on doing for my gap year, as I am also applying to medical school for the 2020 cycle. I aspire to become a physician, leaning toward either pediatrics or family practice. I also want to work at the clinic on the Community, where I am currently an intern, as a physician.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?
In the next 10 years, I will have completed my master’s degree. I hope to have graduated from medical school and be completing my residency in my specialty. I also hope to have maybe started to work back in the Community as a physician.

Who or what influenced you to go to school?
My parents were the ones who always emphasized the importance of getting my education and continuing my education as I grew up. I also would say my Community influenced me, by providing me the support I needed throughout my education. Plus, I had my own drive to continue with my education due to these influences and liking going to school.

Did you face any obstacles while attending college/university? If so, how did you overcome them?
Obstacles that I faced during my undergrad years were living on campus, adjusting to college expectations, getting involved in school, finding my way around campus, finding other Native American students and learning about all the opportunities open to me. This was my first time living away from home, and it was definitely different. It was something I had to adjust to, but I got through it by making friends with my roommates, exploring campus and keeping busy at school. College is different from high school, and professors have different expectations of the students. For this I talked to the professor if I needed extra help/guidance and read the syllabus. I got involved in school by paying attention to emails sent by ASU, newsletters, and things my friends would tell me. Navigating campus was overwhelming, since it was much larger than high school. I was lost a few times and would have to ask people where I was going. I connected with more Native American students from looking at flyers and being emailed by some organizations.

What advice would you give to people considering higher education?
I would say keep going! Continue to excel in your education! It is hard to go back to school after taking a year or longer off from school. I want people to continue on to college and complete their bachelor’s [degree]. It leads to more opportunities and can have [a positive] impact on your life.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents most of all, for being my support system and always encouraging me to do my best, to continue my education and believing in me. I love you mom and dad! I want to thank my friends, family and boyfriend for being there for me, supporting me and making me a better person. I have a whole support system that I couldn’t have done any of this without! I am lucky to have these amazing people in my life. Even in hard times, I can rely on all of you to help me and be there for me! I would also like to thank [SRPMIC] Higher Education, especially Joyla Gates, my advisor, for supporting me in all my endeavors towards my education.

Who are your parents and grandparents?
Parents: Natisha Wood and Nelson Wood
Maternal Grandparents: the late Lillian Clark and the late Eddie Clark
Paternal Grandparents: Marilyn Wood and Norman Wood

This article was written by Dalton Walker and originally printed in the June 6, 2019, issue of O'odham Action News. It is republished here with permission.

The Salt River Higher Education Program is proud to help support students like Courtney Wood reach their academic and professional dreams. For more information about financial aid, contact the Higher Education Program today at 480-362-2547 or email [email protected].
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