The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) partners with its 14 schools to highlight the league's student-athletes through a feature series twice a year.
The feature series for Spring 2019 was "Academics Outside the Classroom," which had student-athletes answer the following questions:
- What did you study outside of the classroom that has helped progress you to your degree?
- What did you learn during your time and how did it impact your academic career?
Here is what women's track & field sophomore Sophie Hockran had to say:
"Being a pre-med, your life is challenging and the best way to make sure this is the life you want is to shadow others and experience it firsthand. For me, that wasn't in a U.S. hospital but it was volunteering in a mission hospital in Liberia, Africa. I was able to shadow the only doctor in a hospital with about 150 beds, two operation rooms, and an outpatient clinic. Dr. Willicor was able to show me that this is the profession that fits me best. He told me his medical journey, starting with what it was like to be a doctor throughout a civil war, and eventually discussed the Ebola crisis and what it is like to be in a place with so much pain and not being able to help everyone. Seeing the passion he has for medicine, without the incentives that the U.S. has, fueled mine and reminded me that all this work is for a reason. Neurology is a lost specialty in many third-world environments. Being a neuroscience major, that is something that I had to get used to while I was abroad. With their lack of resources and training, it is hard for the hospital staff to treat any kind of neurological disorder. During my time there I had the opportunity to sit with Dr. Willicor and many nurses, and discuss various questions they had about neurology, and through a team effort we were able to discuss action plans on how neurology can develop in these cultures. Throughout this experience I was able to grow in my understanding of neuroscience and my understanding of medicine."