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Future Pediatrician Takes Every Opportunity to Give Back to Community

Published: 02/26/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Auburn University student Katherine Buchanan believes in taking as many opportunities as possible to give back to one’s community. Katherine, a junior in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM), spends much of her free time helping others.

Katherine volunteers as a tutor for the Esperanza House, a mentor for Project Uplift, a coach for Science Olympiad at Pick Elementary School, and volunteers at the East Alabama Medical Center – where she does manicures for women living in a local retirement home. She also volunteers for Reading is Fundamental through Auburn University’s IMPACT student volunteer program, for which she is a project coordinator.

“I think it’s really important to give back to Auburn and the community,” she said. “I just love it. It’s such a fun part of my week.”

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Katherine is a third-generation Auburn student. Her parents, both grandfathers, and her aunt and uncle are all Auburn graduates.

“I definitely thought about other schools, but I have been coming to Auburn forever,” she said. “My parents brought me to every football game. It felt like home and I didn’t think anywhere else would fit as well.”

Katherine is studying Biomedical Sciences with a pre-med concentration and hopes to become a pediatrician and after job shadowing is considering pediatric oncology.

“I have always liked working with kids,” Katherine said. “They’re a lot of fun and I think that will add something different to the job.”

Katherine gained useful experience when she studied abroad through COSAM’s Pre-medical Shadowing Program in Spain.

“We were right in there with all of the surgeries and got to see so many different types of doctors. It was such a good experience,” she said, adding that it also helped further her knowledge of her minor studies in Spanish. “It was a good combination of what I want to do with my career and the culture. It fit perfectly for me. I loved getting to practice my Spanish.”

Katherine also puts as much dedication to her studies as she does helping others. She was named a COSAM “Outstanding Freshman,” and “Outstanding Sophomore” and has received several scholarships including the Frank J. Stevens Scholarship. She has also maintained a 4.0 average during her time at Auburn.

Even with more than a year left at Auburn, Katherine said she sees that COSAM is doing a successful job at preparing her for her future as a doctor, while learning from professors that care.

“The professors are all so passionate about what they do,” she said. “I think that’s important because it helps me want to learn the information when I see how much they love it.”

 

 

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