Greetings blog readers! It’s Hina,
My Colleagues at the Visitors Center are pretty amazing people. They’re involved in so many clubs, sports, fraternities, sororities, community service programs, internships, and other extra-curricular activities that it’s hard to believe they even have the time to work as tour guides with their busy schedules. One of these amazing people is Whitney. She’s a Physiology and Neurobiology major at UConn and is in the combined eight year program for medicine. She’s also a part of the Honors program and is the treasurer of the UConn sailing team. When I had a chance to sit down and chat with Whitney the other day, I realized that she was just as involved in high school as she is at UConn.
Whitney is originally from Wakefield, Rhode Island, a small town that is walking distance from the University of Rhode Island. She loves the beach and because she lives only five miles away from the shore, she became involved in sailing at an early age. She has a younger brother, Scott, who is currently a junior at her alma mater, South Kingstown High School.
Whitney grew up an athlete. She learned how to sail at Point Judith Yacht Club when she was seven years old and immediately fell in love with the sport. She told me that her sailing instructor, Chris, used to be a tour guide when he attended UConn. Whitney went on to sail at URI’s sailing center and for five years,raced “opties,” which are seven foot sailboats. She then moved on to racing 420’s, which are 14 foot two person sailboats, for another four years. Whitney explained that she sailed for most of her summers in high school. Aside from sailing, Whitney played basketball, cross country running, and outdoor track in middle school, and in high school, she was part of her school’s soccer team and indoor and outdoor track.
Along with sports, Whitney has always had a strong passion for medicine. As a child, Whitney had bad allergies and asthma, and was repeatedly at doctors’ offices. She went to see an asthma specialist one day and the doctor explained to her why she couldn’t breathe. He drew out exactly what was happening in her body, and when Whitney realized how interesting that was, she decided she wanted to be a doctor and help people. From then on, Whitney started volunteering at the local hospital in her town. She first worked the patient information desk by answering phones and pointing people in the right directions, and then worked in the Marketing Department because she wanted to experience a different aspect of the hospital. She eventually ended up volunteering in the ER, getting to talk to patients first before the triage nurses, and helping nurses and doctors. She said it was her first real experience shadowing doctors. Her interests in health and medicine grew from then on, eventually leading her to apply to UConn.
Whitney initially thought about becoming a Pharmacy major and came to visit UConn during the summer. She had Jim and Liz for tour guides and instantly loved the campus. She sent in her application, and when she was accepted into the combined eight year program in medicine, she knew for sure she was coming here. The atmosphere and school spirit of the campus “sealed the deal” for her, and she entered as a Physiology and Neurobiology major her freshman year.
Stay tuned for Keerthi’s blog post of Whitney’s life during her first few years at UConn!