Carli Whittington

Carli Whittington
Madisonville, Ky.
Pre-Medical Biology with Chemistry minor
Senior, Class of May 2014

Did you start your college experience at Murray State or did you transfer from another school?
I started as a freshman.

Why did you choose Murray State?
I remember the first time I came here, everyone was so friendly and that’s what stood out to me the most. The environment was nice and people were overwhelmingly helpful. I knew I wanted to try and get into medical school and I looked specifically at the Pre Med program here and spoke with some of the faculty. The student to faculty ratio interested me, I saw that I could go and get one on one help from my actual teachers with everything from regular classwork to guidance on my research project. The new science complex was a huge factor as well because the facilities, equipment, teaching and research labs are all brand new. But I think the major factor was that I was fortunate enough to receive a presidential scholarship which made my decision that much easier.

A lot of the faculty are willing to take undergrad students and mentor them as they develop a research project.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities?
My chemistry research has been very important to me since beginning it my freshman year. Being engaged in undergrad research has opened up a lot of opportunities to get out of my comfort zone and experience things from different perspectives. It has pushed me mentally in a variety of ways because I have been able to interact with people from different academic and industrial backgrounds.

I am also involved in many extracurricular clubs on campus in which I hold different offices and have a chance to reach out to other students and contribute to the Murray State community. The Pre Health Professionals (PHP) student organization is fairly new on campus that began my sophomore year. Being an officer from the start I have seen how it has developed and have been fortunate enough to play a role in its expansion in membership numbers. It gives me the opportunity to help other students that are trying to get into their different professional programs and guide them through that process. Along with the honors program, it has played a huge role in my life as a student here at MSU.

I have also continued to participate in the College Rural Scholar Program in my hometown each summer as well. Through this program I was able to interact with patients in a hospital and shadow different doctors in a variety of areas. Having that opportunity helped me figure out that becoming a doctor was what I wanted to do.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned about yourself while being a student at Murray State?
That it is actually possible to juggle a million things and still stay sane. As a Pre Med major you are pushed academically since you are on such a strict schedule of classes you must complete. Studying for those classes and doing well in those classes takes up a huge amount of time, but I have learned that even with so much time spent on academics you can still have a life outside of the classroom.

What has been your biggest challenge in making the change from high school to university life and how have you dealt with it?
The biggest challenge for me, being from such a small town, was getting used to the fact that at MSU there is such a large diversity of people with a wide range of backgrounds. There truly are people from all over the world at Murray State and learning to appreciate the fact that they are all unique and may see things from a different perspective that you has been fulfilling. I’ve seen that absorbing other cultures and ideas can help rid yourself of any and all stereotypes you may come to college with.

What do you like about Biology? Have you learned anything unique about Biology at Murray State?
The faculty plays a large part in making Murray State, and especially my area, different than other universities. The teachers are great at pushing you academically while also being available to you outside of the classroom.

What are your career plans after graduation?
I plan to attend medical school at the University of Louisville, which will be my new home for the next four years.