“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you want.” -Randy Pausch
Katie Lantz is motivated to do it all. A successful student and young professional, she has definitely gotten her money’s worth out of her four years at UNH. Katie will be the first to tell you that she chose UNH because of the in-state tuition. After seeing all that she has done in her time here, it’s clear that Katie knows the value of every dollar she has spent on her education.
Katie chose to study Medical Lab Sciences after evaluating many majors based on her interests and criteria suggested by her father. She met her academic mentor, Professor Adele Marone, when she chose classes during orientation. Since that time, Katie has worked in the MLS lab for Adele and maintained a close relationship with her throughout her time at UNH. What Katie loves most about Med Lab Sciences is the material. The major has given her the ability to learn about why things are happening to someone and not just what is happening. Katie was first influenced to study medicine after reading the work of James Herriot, a veterinarian in England. Herriot was an ingrained member of the community in which he practiced, and that’s the kind of doctor Katie wants to be – “except with people and not animals.” After graduating in May, Katie will be applying to medical school, a process that takes about a year. She will apply to up to 14 schools around the country, but if UNH had a program Katie would stay here for medical school.
Outside of the classroom, Katie’s commitment to science is just as strong. She has worked in labs conducting research since her sophomore year, volunteers at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in the emergency department, and serves as the Vice President of Phi Sigma, the biological sciences honor society. Over this past winter break, Katie completed the requirements for and became a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) so that she can work during the year she is applying to medical school.
During her freshman year, Katie applied for several leadership opportunities and didn’t get any of them. It was a wake-up call for her. Katie achieved a high GPA during her freshman year, but she recognized that a good GPA isn’t the only important thing about college. She began to look for opportunities to get involved on campus. Her grant writing professor, Dr. Tsang, suggested she work with Dr. Subhash Minocha to refine her proposal and apply for a research grant, which she received for her sophomore year. As a sophomore, with a few hours per week dedicated to research, she started adding a few activities here and there, all while keeping up her grades. One of the leadership opportunities Katie took advantage of was being a Resident Assistant. According to Katie, “It’s the best job on campus.” She loved the RA position so much, that after serving in Christensen Hall for a year, she reapplied for a second year and was hired in SERC B, where she has done an incredible job building relationships with residents. To Katie, the job has been “an adventure”. She couldn’t think of a more fun job on campus where “you are basically paid to hang out with people.”
Katie’s family, professors, and friends have played a large role in helping her create her own story at UNH. Her parents, in particular, shaped who she was before college and are a great support to her now as she graduates and begins the medical school application process. Her sister, Emma, who happens to be a junior at UNH in the same major, is always there for Katie – they even work in the same lab. At UNH, Katie works closely with Adele Marone and gives her credit for inspiring her to begin her major.
Residential Life has also had a big impact on Katie’s experience at UNH. Through Residential Life, Katie was taught to “look at the person, not at the group.” When asked what she will remember most about UNH, it’s the friends that she has made. Katie says she, “Won’t remember the classes and stress, it’ll be about who was there.”
In 10 years, Katie hopes to be out of medical school, with an established practice. She wants to be a doctor who focuses on prevention programs because, in her words, “prevention is better than treatment”. She’s not absolutely sure what her specialization will be as doctor, but she recently shadowed an OB/GYN over break. She’s considering pursuing Doctors Without Borders and would go wherever she is needed. She’d like to end up in New England, hopefully with some free time to pursue some of her hobbies, such as painting, hiking, and knitting.
Katie is a delightfully sweet and hard working person. Her gentle nature and quick smile easily endear her to others. Her impact at UNH has been in a student career done well. She is someone who has taken advantage of every opportunity available and found success in those areas. According to Katie, “You never know what you can do until you try.” Katie has definitely tried and given UNH her all!