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Alexandra Warren

2105

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

Bio

Hello, I'm Alexandra and my journey into medical school begins in the summer of 2024! I'm excited to embark on this path and eager to explore the realm of medical research, with a special interest in cancer research. My medical school is situated in Kirksville, MO, close to a breathtaking state park that I can't wait to explore through hiking and camping adventures. Nature has always been a source of inspiration for me. Before diving into the rigorous demands of med school, I'm taking a thrilling trip to Japan this summer to indulge my passion for travel and adventure. One day I dream of traveling with Doctors Without Borders. Currently, I am interested in hematology/oncology, pathology, and preventative medicine and hope to practice in rural/underserved areas. During my undergraduate studies I received the following awards: ACS Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Organic Chemistry Student Award, ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry, Chemistry Scholarship and Service Award. During high school, I received the Iowa Governor's Scholar Award for being top of my class.

Education

A.T. Still University

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2024 - 2027

University of Northern Iowa

Bachelor's degree program
2018 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Physical Sciences, Other
    • Biological and Physical Sciences
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Oncologist or Pathologist

    • Organic chemistry lab assistant

      University of northern iowa
      2020 – 20222 years
    • Student researcher

      Exion labs
      2020 – 20222 years
    • Student Athlete Tutor

      University of Northern Iowa
      2021 – 2021
    • Pathology Laboratory Assistant

      Christie Clinic
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Cashier

      Fareway
      2016 – 20182 years
    • Student library assistant

      University of northern Iowa
      2019 – 20201 year

    Sports

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2016 – 20182 years

    Awards

    • players choice award
    • coaches choice award

    Soccer

    Varsity
    2015 – 20183 years

    Awards

    • 1st team all conference honorable mention

    Research

    • Biology, General

      University of Northern Iowa — Through a summer study abroad experience, I traveled to the Galapagos Islands and did a field research project over the Galapagos Giant Tortoise.
      2022 – 2022
    • Chemistry

      University of Northern Iowa — Assisted Dr. Martin Chin, conducting research on the silylation of carbon hydrogen bonds (pyridine and picolines) using a zinc catalyst. I presented at a departmental seminar and symposium poster session. This work was published in ACS Omega in 2020.
      2019 – 2019
    • Chemistry

      Exion labs — Helped write an NIH grant proposal for a drug delivery system targeting HER-2 (+) breast and ovarian cancer. Also worked on enhancing low molecular weight linear polyethylenamine (LPEI) as a viral/bacterial disinfectant that leaves a “kill later film.”
      2020 – 2022
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

      University of Northern Iowa — Assisting Dr. David McClenahan’s research group prepare a paper over “the effects of fluoride on THP-1 cells”, exploring the effects of fluoride on innate immune activity.
      2024 – Present
    • Chemistry

      University of Northern Iowa — I presented The LEGO MINDSTORMS Brain and Vernier Conductivity Probe: A Cheap and Simple Instrumentation Alternative for Water Quality Testing at the Twelfth Annual Illinois-Iowa American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Conference.
      2020 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      CHAS Champs — Volunteer to talk with possible incoming transfer and freshmen students about coming to UNI and our science department
      2019 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      American Cancer Society — Provide cancer patients and their caregivers with information, resources, and support.
      2024 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Christie Clinic — Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend Medals Team Volunteer
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Carle Foundation Hospital — Summer Volunteer - Assisted nurses on the labor and delivery floor
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center — Patient Ambassador Volunteer - Assisted nurses as needed on the Med/Surg floor
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      UPchieve.org — Academic Coach - Tutor low-income high school students in biology and chemistry
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Student affiliates of the American chemical society — Club President 2020-2022, Club secretary 2019-2020
      2018 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      DoveMed.com — Senior Editorial Staff - published over 10,000 articles on the site, lead a small team of pre-med students, provide feedback to software engineers, test new products on the site, etc.
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Food bank — Lunch packer
      2019 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Balancing Act Medical Student Scholarship
    Retrospect is a funny thing. Reflecting on my journey, it’s clear how my path has shifted dramatically, leading me to pursue a degree in healthcare. Initially, as an undergraduate passionate about research, I envisioned my future in the realm of developing novel cancer therapeutics. The allure of discovering breakthrough treatments captivated me, yet after a semester in an organic chemistry graduate program, a profound realization dawned on me: my pursuit felt disconnected from the very essence of what I cherished—making a tangible impact on patients' lives. This disconnection highlighted a missing piece in my professional fulfillment, prompting a pivotal shift in my career aspirations. Transitioning from a research-focused trajectory to medicine was not a decision I took lightly. What I loved about research was its potential for significant impact— the "big picture." However, the realization that research is but one piece of the healthcare puzzle steered me towards a more direct form of patient care. I withdrew from the graduate program, embarking on a journey to become more intricately involved in medicine, where my actions could directly affect those in need. My subsequent experiences, including working as a pathology lab assistant and engaging in various clinical settings, not only solidified my resolve to pivot toward medicine but also deepened my interest in oncology. Witnessing an osteopathic oncologist's holistic approach, emphasizing patient comfort and mindfulness during bone marrow procedures deeply resonated with me. This specialty perfectly encapsulates my passion for cancer research and clinical practice, presenting an opportunity to marry these interests in a meaningful way. As a woman aspiring to make a positive impact in the healthcare field, my focus has gravitated towards breast and cervical cancer—areas where early detection and prevention can significantly alter patient outcomes. My duties in the pathology lab, particularly preparing pap smears, underscored the critical importance of screening in cancer prevention. This experience reinforced my commitment to advocate for preventive measures and community outreach, aiming to educate and facilitate access to vital screening tools. Volunteering for DoveMed.com has allowed me to begin making a tangible impact by providing free, reliable health information online. This endeavor is a step towards my larger goal of leveraging my knowledge and position to improve healthcare accessibility and literacy. My upbringing in a rural town has imbued me with a profound understanding of the challenges faced by underserved communities, particularly in accessing healthcare services. During high school, my mom faced a health crisis and the logistical hurdles we encountered for her medical appointments highlighted the dire need for enhanced healthcare accessibility in rural areas. This personal experience fuels my dedication to serve these communities, aiming to bridge the gap in healthcare access and ensure that distance and socio-economic factors do not impede the quality of care received. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I worked 20+ hours/week. Google calendar became my best friend as I juggled activities ranging from my role as president of the American Chemical Society, research projects, studying, tutoring, TAing, and working. I faced further struggles when I transitioned from graduate school to working full time as a pathology lab assistant. I spent my lunch breaks shadowing physicians, and most of my free time involved studying for the MCAT, volunteering at local hospitals, or working on medical school application materials. Without the support of my family and friends, and constant reminders of why I am working so hard, I would not be where I am today. Although managing my time has been no easy feat, I think my experiences will help me excel in medical school.
    Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship
    My story begins with one of my earliest memories: meticulously packing a box destined for Kuwait, filled with the comforts of home for my mom - mac and cheese, handmade bracelets, and always an artificial flower, our symbol of enduring love. As you walk into our living room today, a full bouquet of plastic flowers remains as the centerpiece, twelve flowers for twelve months apart. Her deployment during my preschool years marked a piece of our unique family story, one deeply entwined with the military. Flash forward to my high school years; my mom is now a veteran having served in both the army and national guard. We were decorating the Christmas tree as a family. Suddenly, I heard a loud CRASH. An ornament had dropped to the ground, broken, right at my mom’s feet. Minutes passed as she remained staring off into space, unresponsive. It was just one of many seizures that would take place over the course of a year. Before the seizures so flagrantly disrupted our lives, I was an oblivious kid, never noticing the health issues my mom battled every day. Adverse interactions between medications were eventually identified as the culprit, some of which were prescribed for ailments from her military service. My mom lost her driver’s license and relied on me for transportation to work and medical appointments. This might seem like a minor inconvenience, but it symbolized a loss of freedom and control, adding a psychological toll to my mom’s physical ailments. My brother was off beginning his own adventures in the Navy, so it was just my dad and I to help support her. Our rural setting magnified these challenges, as we often had to travel hours for her medical appointments, often to a VA hospital, opening my eyes to the gaps in rural healthcare. As I began exploring the medical field while working as a pathology lab assistant, I came across something I had never heard of before: osteopathic medicine. After understanding the philosophy behind osteopathic medicine, I began to reflect on my past experiences with healthcare, especially with my mom. Could the emphasis on balance and comprehensive well-being, rather than merely treating symptoms with medications, have prevented my mother's year-long struggle with seizures? Furthermore, could the increased availability of physicians in rural areas have lessened the burden on my family and improved her care? When describing what it means to be a physician, a pathologist I work with once told me, “It’s not what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for others.” Although somewhat cliche, this saying has bounced around in my head at least once a day since our first conversation. With this in mind, I dream of one day traveling with Doctors Without Borders and going on various mission trips. Furthermore, being a part of a military family, I think the most rewarding career would be more along the lines of “It is not what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for those who have served others.” During medical school, I hope to rotate in a VA hospital or clinic and make an impact in rural healthcare. My ideal future career involves providing holistic health care to veterans like my mom.