From Healthcare to Capitol Hill, One Alum Creates Career Journeys for Many

by Marissa Deitch, Assistant Director for Public Service and Internships
Becker and Braun
Dr. Joseph Becker '66 receives the 2014 Career Services Champion Award.

Dr. Joseph Becker '66 was honored by the College for his dedicated service to Swarthmore College.  Having facilitated externships for myriad students over the years, Dr. Becker received the Career Services Champion Award on Tuesday, May 13th during an afternoon reception.  With his wife Lisa by his side, Dean Braun, members of the Career Services staff and students, presented "Joe" with their accolades and appreciation. In addition to the award, Dr. Becker received a compilation of student quotes from former externs. Nancy Burkett, Director of Career Services commented, "Dr. Becker's service to the College exemplifies the spirit of giving back to Swarthmore among our alumni." When deciding on this year's honoree, Dr. Becker was a unanimous choice among the staff members of Career Services.  Past recipients include Dr. Amy Cheng Vollmer in the Department of Biology for her enthusiastic approach in connecting Career Services with both students and faculty alike. 

Students and alumni who participated in externships due to Dr. Becker's help shared the following expressions of gratitude.

  •   I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful week I spent in the Cooper Hospital. I say without irony that it was one of the greatest experiences and best ways to spend my break as it showed me what I want to do. It is remarkable how little we know about the wondrous profession of a physician, and I am in great gratitude for the opportunity to see what it is like to be a true physician in many different disciplines. I can say without doubt that medical profession is definitely something I want to pursue and I would like to thank you, one more time, for giving me the opportunity to spend a fantastic week surrounded by medical staff, something I very much look forward to in the future.
  • I cannot thank Dr. Becker enough for all of his work in aiding Swarthmore students.  I will be working in Congressman Brady's office this summer as a result of my spring break externship. I doubt this would have been possible without the original opportunity to work there for that week. 
  • Thank you again for organizing the Cooper Hospital Extern program! I participated in this program in the winter of my junior year (over 6 years ago!) but still remember it well. It was a wonderful experience that I wrote about in my medical school personal statement and spoke about during medical school interviews! Having that unique experience in my medical school application undoubtedly helped me during the application process and beyond.
  • It has been more than 4 years since I was fortunate enough to participate in the externship program at Cooper University Hospital. And to this day, I still often talk about my experiences there and everything I learned in my short week there. I am currently in my first year of medical school at the University of Rochester, and I have to say that my experiences in the externship have really helped guide me on my path into medicine. I remember the doctors that I met and my introduction to life in the hospital. I am confident that these experiences are similar for all of the students for whom you facilitated this experience. Thank you so much for your devotion and hard work all of these years to give students like me a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse into the medical world. It truly means a lot to have someone so willing to help students.