With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2017:
Name: Taylor Cunningham
Hometown: Wheeling, West Virginia
Major: Cunningham graduated with a major in Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences on May 6.
Post-graduation plans: Cunningham begins medical school at West Virginia University School of Medicine.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU provided me with all of the classes I needed to take in order to prepare for the MCAT and complete the prerequisites for the medical schools i applied to. I had options to choose from in the Biology department in regard to the upper level classes I took, which made it easy for me to pursue my interests in the medical field. I was able to enroll in courses like Neurobiology and Immunology that are commonly taught during medical school, giving me exposure to material that I will likely see again someday. My professors also pushed me to expand my knowledge through the rigor of material in both lecture and lab settings, allowing me to realize my full potential in academia.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “I am most thankful for the mentorships of Dr. Kelli Sapp and Dr. Veronica Segarra from the Biology Department. Dr. Sapp was the first professor I met with before freshman year to help me build a class schedule, and she also exposed me to the various careers of the medical field during my first year at HPU. Since then I have had her for 3 biology courses and she has aided me immensely throughout the medical school application process by reading through and editing applications, connecting me with HPU alumni who are currently in medical school, and providing me with mock interviews. Dr. Segarra has also played a prominent role in my HPU career as she provided me with the opportunity to take part in Undergraduate Research. Under her guidance, I was able to learn new molecular techniques to add to my CV and also had the chance to participate in two research conferences, including HighPURCS, last spring. Dr. Segarra acted as another pre-med advisor for me as well, constantly helping me improve my applications and being one of my biggest supporters along the way. I know I would not be where I am today without the guidance and help of both Dr. Segarra and Dr. Sapp.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My most impactful moment at HPU was receiving the Honors Scholar medal at Honors Day in recognition of completing the Honors Scholar Program. This signified the diligence and determination put forth through all 8 of my semesters at HPU and truly showed that hard work pays off in the long run. In addition, I was able to stand alongside so many of my peers that I have taken honors courses with and who I am now able to call some of my best friends, making the experience that much more rewarding.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Take advantage of all the opportunities you are offered. Even if you have to step outside of your comfort zone, take on a leadership position, join an organization, go on a volunteer trip, and take the challenging class. You never know how much you will learn about yourself from being in different situations and gaining new experiences until you actually do it, and those opportunities may just show you all that you are capable of doing.”