Student Marshal sets sights on medical school

 Kayla Jardine has always had an interest in science and working with people. As this year?s student marshal, she will graduate with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry on Saturday, May 9, 2015. She will also have completed part of her journey toward earning a medical degree.

The Mohrsville, PA native began her college career at Clemson University in South Carolina, but high out-of-state tuition costs prompted her to return to Pennsylvania. Originally planning to begin her studies at Penn State Berks and complete her degree at University Park campus, she credits the Penn State Berks science faculty and the connections she made at the college with her decision to stay at Berks for all four years.

?When I told Dr. (Ike) Shibley that I wanted to go to medical school, he helped me find opportunities as a Teaching Assistant in the Chemistry department and recommended that I join the college?s Pre-Med Society,? she explains. ?I also had an opportunity to conduct research with Dr. Lorena Tribe.? She goes on to state that she completed her Penn State Schreyer Honors thesis with Tribe in computational chemistry.

As part of the Biology degree program, she completed an internship at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey as a research assistant in Emergency Medicine. She hopes to become a physician, specializing in Emergency Medicine, and will take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) this June.

Not one to sit on her laurels, Jardine also found opportunities to explore her interests outside the college. During the summer of 2013, the traveled to Thailand to shadow physicians for two weeks as part of the Gap Medics program, which provides ?year-round hospital shadowing internships abroad for pre-health students.? She shared this experience with students in the college?s Pre-Medical Society.

In addition, as part of a Berks honors course, she traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2014, to study issues of health and health communication. The students worked with a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist mothers and children with HIV/AIDS.

Jardine was also a member of the Berks Chemical Society and a chemistry tutor in the Learning Center. In addition to being this year?s student marshal, one of the student?s with the highest grade-point average, she received several academic awards during her time at the college including the Academic Excellence Award in Organic Chemistry, the Academic Excellence Award in Biology, the Chemistry Peer Tutoring Award, and the Schreyer Medal for her thesis on computational chemistry.

When she wasn?t in class or conducting research, Jardine worked as a personal caregiver at Country Meadows Retirement Communities.

Jardine is well on her way to achieving her dream.