Pre-Med Club attends conference, brings back knowledge


Students from the Pre-Medical Club stand outside of the White House at their conference in Washington D.C.

Mariah Valles, Editor-in-Chief

Being a member in a club on campus is something Pre-Medical Club President Marie-Helen Willis and club member Scott Engelhart say will lead to extended resources and opportunities.

Ten members of the Pre-Medical Club attended the American Medical Student Association conference in Washington D.C. from March 6-10. This conference offered keynotes, workshops, sessions and resources to prepare students for medical school.

The club fundraised about $500 by selling hot cocoa, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and valentines in order to work their way to D.C. It was a requirement for the 10 students who wanted to attend the conference to help fundraise.

“It makes every member who is going kind of work for it…it shows their commitment to going,” Willis said.

Engelhart volunteered about 37 hours of his time to volunteering and organizing the trip.

Engelhart was in a car accident about four years ago. He said his experience with physicians during that time inspired his interest in working in the medical field. His dream job is to become a trauma surgeon.

Engelhart said that when a student decides to pursue a medical job, they should join the Pre-Medical Club.

“You come into contact with a lot of other pre-med students who are maybe farther along than you are,” Engelhart said. “Coming into contact with different resources is really helpful.”

While the club did fundraise, both Willis and Engelhart said it would have been impossible to attend the conference without Student and Activities (S&A), Student Academic Senate and Club Senate. Willis said that some funding did still come out of attendees’ pockets.

Students pay an S&A fee that goes towards base funding for programs such as advising and the music program, according to Eric Bennett, S&A student member. After budgeted for base funding is completed, an additional amount is budgeted for supplemental funding according to Bennett.

The budgeting for supplemental funding is completed every year by the S&A committee upon recommendation by professional staff and advisers. The S&A committee can vote to give all, partial or none of the requested amount of funding to groups like the Pre-Medical Club.

Bennett said that buy-in, fundraising or not, is important to him as a voting member.

“I just like to see that you want to do this, but you’re also so interested in it that you’re going to put whatever you can in,” Bennett said.

In regards to attending S&A funded events, Bennett hopes students bring knowledge back to CWU.

“I just want [students] to be able to learn, to experience, to come back to Central and teach what [they] learn and pass it on to other students,” Bennett said.

As a student, Bennet wanted to join the S&A committee to represent his fellow classmates.

“I don’t think that any event or student requesting money is more important than the other,” Bennett said.

As a graduating senior, Willis’ time at CWU is nearing its end.

“It’s bittersweet,” Willis said. “I’ve only been here two years and it went by so fast. I definitely wish I could’ve had more time here.”

Willis said that students in their early years of college should seek opportunities and resources available to them. She said that oftentimes seniors join the club during their last year.

“One year is definitely not enough to take advantage of [resources],” Willis said.

Willis’ advice to students is to take an opportunity if one comes your way.

“Take it right away if you’re really serious about it,” Willis said.

Willis hopes to be accepted to and graduate from medical school. She hopes to come back to CWU afterward and share her experiences with Pre-Medical Club members. Willis said she plans to keep in contact with the club’s advisers and be available as a resource to club members even after graduating from CWU.

The Pre-Medical Club meets every Monday in the Science building in room 207. Willis and Engelhart encourage students to attend and participate in the club.