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Koret Fellowship Program

Helen Newen

Public Health major, Class of 2018

During the summer, I had the opportunity to take a summer class at Santa Clara University for Human Physiology. This is an upper division course that meets one of the requirements for my major. Taking the class over the summer has allowed me to be on track to graduate on time and to also meet one of the prerequisite requirements for graduate programs that I am looking into: nursing and physician assistant programs.

One of the main themes in Human Physiology is that, the body is always trying to maintain homeostasis. Our body also works in a way where we have inputs and outputs to regulate our body, and that incorporates feedback loops. My favorite lesson that we went over was the cardiology system. I thought it was cool understanding how the cardiovascular system supplies oxygen from our lungs to the tissues in our body and how we are also able to get rid of our body’s waste product of carbon dioxide because of this system. The cardiovascular system is one of the most important systems in our body, because it reflects how blood flows throughout our body. Learning about the differences in arteries and veins, and then the circulation and flow of blood throughout our body was a lot of fun. While being born with a heart condition and having family members who experienced cardiac arrest, I was able to understand the how heart problems can arise. This concept made me realize how important it is to have good cardiovascular health, and encouraged me to promote good cardiovascular health to my family and friends.

Furthermore, I really enjoyed the summer class. I thought the class was a lot of fun because we applied our class lectures into hands on activities for lab. Learning the material was not as difficult as I had originally thought it would be. Human Physiology teaches you to learn in a manner where you should connect the material to new material, allowing me to remember every detail from previous chapters to continuing new chapters. I do admit that, the hardest part of summer school was understanding the nervous system. However, I was also able to ask my professor whenever I had a question because no one wanted to stay after class to ask any questions since it was exhausting to attend class, read chapters, attend lab, and complete group assignments. This allowed me to have a lot of time to get to know my professor.

All in all, the LEAD Fellowship has allowed me to focus on the course material and my vocation towards health care. Without the LEAD Fellowship, I would have had to work and not have a lot of time comprehending the material and enjoying learning. When my adviser told me that I should consider taking the class over the summer, I was nervous. I have never taken a summer class before. Since the summer class was shorter than a typical 10 week class that would take place over the school year, I was not quite confident that I would be able to grasp every detail and do well, while finding a way to balance a job to pay for the class. However, after attending my first year at Santa Clara University, I learned that I am capable of learning and doing well, as long as I put my mind to it. In addition, I am very grateful that the LEAD Fellowship has helped allow me to give my full attention to the course material.

After taking Human Physiology over the summer, this impacted my growth in my motivation and passion for the health field. Human Physiology allowed me to learn about the way the body works. I found the material interesting, fun, and enjoyed learning about how the body functions. Even after taking Human Physiology, I still think about how the body works when I am bored. I hope to continue to find and learn more information about how the body works and the anatomy of the human body. I am able to say that I enjoy the science behind the body, allowing me to decide that I am happy pursuing my major and that I will be looking into physician assistant programs after graduation.