Two TLRO undergraduate students were accepted into the Lester R. Bryant Scholars Pre-Admissions program. Jordan Schafer, from Hannibal, MO and Hailee Coleman, from Farmington, MO, were both accepted into the program that encourages young people from rural backgrounds to pursue a medical education. Students in the program are offered acceptance into the MU School of Medicine with the requirement of maintaining set academic standards, show ongoing professionalism, and are involved in required activities.
Since joining the TLRO in September 2020, Schafer has had the opportunity to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the behind-the-scenes work involved in creating research and health publications that are in textbooks and scientific journals. He has also greatly valued his time working with Director of the TLRO, Dr. Aaron Stoker, and other members of the lab.
“Growing up my grandfather told me the importance of surrounding yourself with good people--at the Thompson Lab I am surrounded with nothing but great people,” said Schafer. “I am and always will be grateful to be part of the team.”
Coleman, who is from a town about an hour south of St. Louis, has been with the TLRO since October 2020. Since returning in-person to the lab, she is enjoying the opportunity for hands-on learning.
“So far, the most valuable thing I have experienced in the lab is understanding exactly how research is performed,” said Coleman. “Receiving my own project has been very exciting [and] learning in the lab is much more active and engaging. I have learned so much through engaging in the research, and it fits my style of learning perfectly!”
Despite having had had multiple knee injuries and surgeries, Coleman said it was her dad’s heart attack scare that ultimately pushed her towards a career in medicine.
“Listening to the story from my mom about how our local hospital stabilized him but then had to send him by ambulance up north to a more equipped hospital with a Cardiac Catheterization Lab showed me the need for more rural physicians,” said Coleman. “Without the work of our local hospital, my dad would not have made it.”
Schafer said he wanted to go to medical school as a way of continuing his family legacy of positively impacting lives. His interest in anatomy and medicine drove him to wanting to become a physician.
“Having the ability to impact and aid patients to better health is a privilege, and as a physician and Bryant Scholar, I will never take that privilege for granted,” said Schafer.
Schafer is looking forward to this next chapter of his life and encourages others to continue pursuing their ambitions.
“Just because you’re from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t have big dreams, all you have to do is pursue them.”
Congratulations, Jordan and Hailee!