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Senior wins prestigious scholarship to attend medical school

RELEASED: March 25, 2010

Jasmine Wiley
Jasmine Wiley

EAU CLAIRE — Jasmine Wiley, Clintonville, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, recently received the Scholar's Award from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. The award amounts to $10,000 annually for four years.

Wiley, who is pursuing a double major in biology and American Indian studies at UW-Eau Claire, was accepted into the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine program and is looking forward to starting medical school in the fall.

"Since I grew up in rural Wisconsin, I know what it's like to live in a community that has a 'drive your tractor to school day,' where everyone knows your face if not your name," said Wiley. "I feel that I am well suited for rural medicine and would be happy to live in a small community and build my practice there. I have seen the need for physicians in these rural areas."

According to Dr. Julie Anderson, associate professor of biology at UW-Eau Claire, the scholarship award is based on achievement, life experiences, personal qualities, commitment and future potential as a physician, and nominations come from the medical school admissions committee.

"I first met Jasmine in the summer of 2006 as a summer orientation adviser when I typically meet over 100 incoming biology students," said Anderson. "Jasmine was a real stand-out that summer. She entered UW-Eau Claire with an impressive high school record, but it was her maturity and excellent communication skills that gave me a lasting impression."

According to Anderson, Wiley also has demonstrated natural leadership abilities. She is this year's president of the campus Pre-Med Club, for which Anderson is the faculty adviser. Anderson has worked closely with Wiley to organize and plan meetings, fundraisers and other activities. Wiley also has worked at the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic in Eau Claire and set up an information link on the Pre-Med Club Web site so other interested pre-med students can more easily volunteer their services at the clinic.

"Establishing these connections and being involved in a variety of campus groups has helped make my experience at UW-Eau Claire truly memorable and positive," said Wiley, who also has served as a student academic apprentice in classes taught by Kelly Murray, lecturer in biology.

"During her time as a student I have seen Jasmine mature and become a real leader to her peers and a trusted collaborator to several faculty members in our department," said Murray. "Her academic record reflects her hard work and ability for success, and I have no doubt that this potential will translate well to medical school in her future."

Wiley credits her desire to work in medicine largely to her mother, a myofascial release therapist.

"I was taught what a wonderful thing it is to help someone feel better, to help someone be healthier," she said. "To me, a career in medicine is a way that I can use my knowledge to give to the community around me by sharing ways to be healthy and helping to maintain that health."

Dr. Rick St. Germaine, professor of history, found Wiley to be "exceptionally motivated" to build a degree program rich in research and field experience. He supervised two of Wiley's independent study projects, one of which required her to do investigative field work on Menominee tribal resource sustainability. In another, she traveled to a Navajo Indian reservation in northern Arizona to provide medical policy and instructional assistance to a Navajo Indian school where St. Germaine serves as a staff training specialist.

"Jasmine's drive, ambition, enthusiasm and exceptional teamwork resulted in an educational experience that will serve as a model for all future students," said St. Germaine. "We are going to miss her at UW-Eau Claire but take pride in knowing that her work in medicine will make a great contribution to the world."

For more information contact Jasmine Wiley at wileyj@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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