Featured student: Alec Womboldt, Class of '12
Alec Womboldt ’12 knew when he came to Manchester he would find strong science academics, scholarships, a spectacular Science Center and a top-flight cross-country program. He found so much more.
“Manchester has challenged me to become the person I want to be,” says the biology-chemistry major from DeWitt, Mich. Professors mentor and motivate him. His peers influence him to do his best, too. Research opportunities provide invaluable experience. It’s all leading him to becoming a family physician or pediatrician.
Even if medicine puts Alec in the vortex of a contentious health-care debate in the United States, he welcomes the chance to help forge a solution. “I want to provide the best health care I can to everyone who needs it,” he says. “I want to help people become healthier and more health-conscious.”
Alec joined five physicians, two dentists, a pharmacist, a faculty member, and 13 other students on the January 2011 Medical Practicum to Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. (Many of the medical professionals on the trip are alumni.) They worked side-by-side in several small villages along the Rio Coco, delivering health care, medicine and supplies.
Nicaragua is a beautiful country called the “land of lakes and volcanoes,” says Alec. But it’s also a country of grinding poverty. The Manchester group slept in hammocks, ate food prepared by villagers, and functioned mostly without electricity or electronic communication.
“It taught me to be grateful for the life we live in the United States” and to remember that there are many people “in need of health care, shelter, food and even clean water,” he says. “It was a life-changing experience that I will never forget.”
By Melinda Lantz ’81