Honors College Students Share their Summer Experiences

July 28, 2022

Ever wondered how Honors College students spend their summer? For junior Ella Pursley, senior Mark Mills, and senior Kaitlyn Tremble that looked like an elite internship and the chance to study the subjects they love abroad. These three students share a glimpse into what their summer held and how the Honors College helped prepare them for it.

Ella Pursley | Baylor in Oxford

“Two years ago, I applied to Baylor in Oxford, but that trip was canceled due to Covid. Fortunately, I was able to go this summer! I have always been a humanities nerd at heart, and my family has always joked that I would end up at Oxford at some point in my academic journey. There is such a rich literary history at Oxford, and it has been an incredible experience to walk the paths that some of my favorite authors did during their time here.

My experience in the Honors College has prepared me for the immense course load I have had this summer. Also, my Great Texts professors' love of both history and literature has completely informed my experience. As a Great Texts major, I’ve naturally done a lot of reading in both literature and philosophy, and it’s been incredible to study in a place where so many schools of thought and critical historical movements happened. This has been an amazing experience, and very humbling, to walk through the stone archways that so many great thinkers and writers walked through during their time here.”

Mark Mills | Methodist Healthcare System Chief Medical Officer Internship

“The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) internship opportunity first presented itself to me through an email from the Honors College. I immediately applied because I was eager to learn more about the factors impacting providers’ ability to care for patients. This internship is primarily shadowing, and I have spent most of my time participating in my partnered CMO’s day. That means I've gotten to see how the hospital operates from his perspective: the inside look at how teams, metrics, priorities, and communication are the functional levers of progress as the hospital tries to improve patient care.

Additionally, I have gotten to spend time in most parts of the hospital: administration, emergency department, food service, pharmacy, laboratory, surgery, quality, case management, rehabilitation, PACU, ICU, and all the other floor units. One of the best, most unexpected facets of this internship has been this broad exposure to healthcare and immersion in the language and culture of the hospital. Beyond that, I have been able to get deeply involved through a quality improvement project. Over the past two months, I have been collaborating with staff from several disciplines and using the electronic health record to target opportunities for decreasing hospital-acquired Clostridioides difficile infections, and I will be presenting soon to a group of CMOs across San Antonio.

Even if I never work in a hospital or as an administrator, this experience will have been tremendously impactful. I have gained a valuable and versatile understanding of how I can contribute meaningfully to an organization for the good of patients. As it is, with my interests in medicine and healthcare, I will be drawing from my experience this summer for a long time. I have a much greater appreciation for the work everyone in the hospital does and more clarity for where I see myself in the world of medicine."

Kaitlyn Tremble | Baylor in Paris

“As part of my time in University Scholars, I decided to study French as one of my concentrations. I believe there are many benefits to not only learning a second language but also directly engaging with different cultures and learning to be a global citizen. These things influenced me to apply to the Baylor in Paris program. During the program, I was able to live in Paris for four weeks, taking classes in the mornings and then exploring the city. I got to experience a different culture not as a tourist but as a Parisian, even living with a host family.

Even though my future career goals are more aligned with my concentration in biology, I am now considering more opportunities to conduct research abroad, so I can continue to grow and utilize the French language wherever I end up. My time in the Honors College gave me the responsibility and accountability, not only ensure my work was getting done but to engage with the host country in a meaningful way. I’m incredibly grateful for the entire experience.”