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Biology Major Accepted to SLU School of Medicine
You could say Southeast senior, Tim Capps, is on fireᾰand it’s not from the blazin’ hot wing sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings where he likes to hang out for mid-week wing specials. Tim’s amazing accomplishments at Southeast have ignited his success.
Tim is originally from the small town of Karnak, Ill., located an hour east of Cape Girardeau. He will graduate in May with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. His ardor for the sciences has paved the way for a future career in medicine, and he is planning to attend St. Louis University School of Medicine next fall. His goal is to be a surgeon, and eventually return to the small community where he grew up to work in a local hospital.
“I am a very community-oriented person,” he said. “I hope to serve the county I grew up in and set up a rural clinic, where I can work a couple of days a week because there are no physicians in Pulaski County.”
Tim discovered his interest in surgery while taking an anthropology course on campus a few years ago. A requirement for the class was to enter a sub-culture and observe people in their cultural context. Tim chose to do his research in the operating rooms at Southeast Missouri Hospital, observing first-hand several cardiovascular surgeries.
“The experience opened my eyes not only to the long hours kept by surgeons but also the joy that comes from improving a patient’s quality of life,” he explained. “This realization will make all the hurdles I must jump over to become a physician worthwhile.”
Tim spends much of his time on campus in several activities and organizations, making him a well-rounded individual. He is a member of the Southeast Student Medical Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and former treasurer of the Residence Hall Association. He also has completed extensive research on microorganisms in the microbiology lab under the supervision of Dr. James Champine and will present his research findings in April at a regional American Society for Microbiology conference in St. Louis.
“The knowledge I have gained over the past few years in this hands-on setting has reinforced the knowledge gained as an undergraduate,” he said. “It has also been extremely interesting, and I feel as if I have contributed to the scientific community through my research on microorganisms.”
You have to look beyond the labs to find Tim. You will also find him playing golf, fishing, hiking and enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer. If you have attended a Southeast football game over the last few years, you most likely caught a glimpse of Tim playing the trumpet and marching with the Golden Eagles Marching Band, an activity he enjoyed for two years of his collegiate career. His love of music not only has him still playing the trumpet, bass, mandolin and dobro, but, for the past 13 years, he has enjoyed playing the guitar.
He also enjoys traveling. Tim would like to return to the warm weather, beautiful beaches and scenic mountains of southern California, where he visited family in Los Angeles several years ago. He would also like to journey abroad and visit London, Rome, Paris and Australia. Once Tim graduates from medical school, he hopes to also travel to third world countries on medical mission trips.
Tim’s achievements and past adventures at Southeast have sown the seeds for a successful future in medicine. Southeast has endowed him with the tools to tackle the next chapter of his life, and it has also provided him with some personal wisdom. Tim’s best advice for students is to believe in yourself, and set high goals and achieve them.
“Don’t let anything stand in your way,” he explains. “And if your are majoring in science, get involved early on in research for your respective field of study because it is one of the most rewarding things you can do to solidify your knowledge from your courses.”