Timeless stories of the wonderful and sometimes surprising effects that a university can have on a person are evident all around. It is my hope that one day, I too can be added to the long and impressive list of highly successful and satisfied alumni. For now, I am still being shaped, still changing, but my transformation has begun.
For it is here that my passion for science has been reignited and, with the guidance of Andrew Chubb, associate professor of chemistry and pre-med advisor, I chose my pre-med major. Now, he is both my professor and advisor, continuously aiding with great suggestions like joining the Health Professions Association, where I have met a network of motivated and passionate students with the same lofty goal of getting into med school.
It is here that I moved away from my parents and my idolized older brother (idolized in spite of his attending Grand Valley). Living on campus, I formed a new family of other searching students to lean on, but most importantly, I learned how to rely on myself. This experience gave me the courage to fulfill my long-time dream of studying abroad. With the dedicated help of Stephanie Sieggreen, assistant director of international programs, all of my concerns and doubts were soothed as I traveled to Spain, living four months in a foreign country, practicing my Spanish, and visiting places I was convinced only existed in books.
Now I am back on SVSU's campus, pursuing my goal of going to med school and becoming a doctor. My transformation is still and constantly ongoing. As I think about my future, I anticipate that someday, Nikki Salerno, M.D. and SVSU alum, will, as those before me, recall with fondness and appreciation this incredibly transformative part of my life.