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Elise Layne

High School: Emmett High School

Intended Major: Biochemistry

Possible Career: Disease Research or Health Advocacy

Words: Optimistic, Adaptable, Compassionate, Curious, Energetic 

What impact do you want to have on the world?

Across the world there are people who do not have education about, or access to, proper health care. This is a problem that radiates through the lives of individuals everywhere, yet is often treated as though it is not a basic human right. I want to be a part of the promotion of basic health education and help people to obtain appropriate access to health care no matter who or where they are. In addition, I have been interested in the idea of disease research since I was in middle school and would love to play a role in the race to cure life threatening illnesses through the development of medicine. Hopefully, I will be able to combine these two career interests to increase the well-being of individuals in whatever way I can.  

Name a person you admire.

Although it is a very common answer, I admire my mother Lois more than any one else. She raised two children as a single parent, worked full-time, and still managed to keep a positive, loving attitude. At no point did she let my brother or I believe that our financial position defined us. Even on her most stressful days, she continued to push us to achieve more and gave us the confidence to trust in our abilities to succeed. Without her unwavering love and support, I would not be the person I am today. 

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

The summer before my sophomore year I was able to intern in a chemistry lab at a college near my town. I am truly grateful for the experience as it taught me a great amount about laboratory procedures, how daily life in a lab works, and most importantly, how working strictly in a lab is not for me. Before this experience I truly thought I would love it as a full time career. However, through Evans I was able to understand that I need a position in which lab work is mixed in with patient interaction in order to feel content. 

What was the most transformative class you have taken and/or what subjects do you want to explore deeply?

My introduction to Spanish class was surprisingly eye opening. Coming in to Swarthmore, and the collegiate world in general, was quite daunting; I expected everyone to be very strict and cutthroat about academics. However, when learning a language, there is not going to be any person who doesn't mess up a conjugation or say something completely different from what they intended. When this happened in my class, instead of the ridicule I assumed would occur, everyone was eager to help and created a place of nonjudgmental learning. This experience immediately helped me feel supported by my peers and realize that academics are a place of group learning--not strictly individualized success.