By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Incoming freshmen Taylor Ingle of Aurora, Ind. and Maura Van Deventer of Columbus, Ind., have been awarded scholarships for the new IU baccalaureate/doctor of medicine program.
For the next four years, their tuition and residence expenses at IU Southeast are fully funded, and if they meet the high standards of the baccalaureate program, they will be directly matriculated in the IU School of Medicine in Evansville, Ind.
The scholarship is open to Indiana residents and seeks to address the serious shortage of physicians providing medical services to residents of Southeastern and Southern Indiana. To reverse the shortage, the program will recruit high-achieving high school students from the area, keep them local for both undergraduate and medical school, and eventually retain them in the region as practicing physicians, according to Dr. Steven Becker, associate dean, director, and Koch Chair of Medicine at IU School of Medicine-Evansville.
“This is the only B/MD program that allows a student to stay in the IU system for both their undergraduate and MD degrees,” Becker said.
Ingle and Van Deventer were selected based on their SAT/ACT scores and high-school GPA. They are two of three students to enter the inaugural year of the program.
Ingle is focused on becoming a pediatric oncologist, motivated both by faith and family history.
“Children with cancer are going through so much they don’t understand,” Ingle said. “As their doctor, I could be a light in their lives.”
Van Deventer aims to become a general practitioner.
In high school, Van Deventer participated in the Project Lead the Way biomedical program. This immersion in the principles of biomedical science, human body systems, medical interventions and biomedical innovation helped her gain both theoretical and hands-on experience, and sharpen her commitment to a career in medicine.
While the program has started small, with three student accepted, Becker expects it to accommodate 20 to 40 students as it matures.
“We are anticipating a program that brings all B/MD students, including those from IU Southeast, University of Evansville, and University of Southern Indiana, together in the new Stone Family Center for Health Sciences once or twice a year,” Becker said. “This would give the students several chances to become familiar with the space itself, as well as meet their future medical school classmates.”
Ingle and Van Deventer received certificates at a welcoming reception in their honor on Sept. 16. The students’ friends and family mingled with School of Natural Sciences Dean Elaine Haub, natural sciences faculty and campus leaders, including Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Uric Dufrene.
“ I am so pleased that IU Southeast is involved in this fabulous program,” said IU Southeast Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace. “These two stellar students will represent our campus so professionally in the years to come, and what’s more, they will take an active role in improving the quality and economy of southern Indiana.