Senior Profile: Makayla Patterson

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Biology and Biomedical Sciences Major Chemistry Minor. Other Programs I was a part of were Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, McDaniel Honors Program.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

I have been a Student Ambassador since the end of freshman year, and I served as the President this year!

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I am the President of the Pre-Health Club on campus. I am also the Treasurer of Tri-Beta. I am a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon and Alpha Lambda Delta, as well as the McDaniel Volleyball Team.

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

Absolutely! I am so incredibly thankful for all of the opportunities that McDaniel has given me and the people I have met. I think I enjoyed my extracurriculars the most, but I can’t pick just one. Playing volleyball at the collegiate level has always been a dream of mine, and I had a fantastic experience here. I also really enjoy being a Student Ambassador and meeting so many new people every day.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

I think Dr. Staab has been/ is my best mentor. She always pushed me to the best of my ability in her classes and because of that, I learned a ton. Dr. Staab is also friendly and compassionate. You can go into her office and just talk about life, and ask for advice on things outside of the classroom. Dr. Staab is tough too, and fights for what is right, which I also really admire.

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

My favorite memories at McDaniel were probably game days in Gill. I specifically remember one game day (I think my sophomore year), we had a big rival game, and planned for fans to do a white out. Our entire gym was filled with students wearing white and supporting the volleyball team! To play in an environment like that is one of the best feelings in the world.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

One of my challenges came when Covid occurred, but my situation was unique. The Admissions Office offered to let me stay during that time to keep working, but my family was back home in Colorado. With all of the uncertainty at the start of the pandemic, there was a lot of back and forth on what the best option for myself would be. I continued to educate myself on the science that was being published on the virus, and eventually decided to stay on campus to continue working. While this was a very difficult decision, I quickly realized that it was the best decision for me. The Admissions Office became my second family, and is filled with incredible people. My family stayed safe through being smart – wearing masks and socially distancing, and when things started to get a little better, I was able to go home and visit!

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am in the process of applying to medical school! This is about a year long process, so I have enrolled in an EMT course in order to work as an EMT during my gap (enrichment) year, which I am really excited about!

What would you tell yourself as a first-year student at McDaniel?

Do not take a single second for granted. It is so cliche, and I know I heard this over and over again as a freshman, but upperclassmen weren’t kidding. The four years fly by, so enjoy every minute. Embrace the challenges because that is how you will grow as a person and change for the better.

Where do you see the world in 10 years?

I hope to see change. I hope that we live in a world that is more equal and fair for everyone, a world that accepts everyone. And, I see our generation being a huge part of that change. I see new innovation and technologies that go beyond everything we can imagine today that help to also make the world a better place.

How do you reflect on your senior year during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

It was really tough, and nothing like what I had imagined my senior year to be. I missed going to class, dropping into professors office hours, and eating dinner in my apartment with friends I didn’t live with. At the same time, I think there is a lot to be grateful for. I am so glad we were able to be on campus. I cannot imagine how seniors at other schools felt who had to stay home. I got to live in an apartment with why best friends and go to work every day. I got to play volleyball a few more times with my team. Plus, I think the pandemic really helped Pre-Health Club to grow. We increased membership and our number of events largely because the accessibility was so much greater.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

Thank you so much to everyone who has been part of my journey here. I have been blessed to meet you all and to have been given the opportunities that I was. To all of the underclassmen: enjoy your time here on the hill, and take advantage of what McDaniel has to offer. College is entirely what you make it, so get involved and make it a great four years.