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LHU News

Soaring Higher: LHU senior has sights set on medical school

Jessie Anderson

Jessie Anderson, a biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences, has lived in Lock Haven his whole life and will graduate from Lock Haven University in May 2019. But graduation will not be the end of Anderson’s education, as he plans to attend medical school, with aspirations of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon — operating on hearts and lungs.

Anderson already has been accepted to both Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He also has an interview at Touro University Nevada scheduled for early January.

During independent studies at LHU, his research focused on the investigation of the teratogenic effects of valproic acid, an antiepileptic drug, on osteogenesis and chondregenesis in embryonic chickens. He presented his research at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists conference at Mansfield University and at Celebration of Scholarship at LHU, both during the spring 2018 semester.

As a patient care technician in the emergency department at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center since 2015, he said he has been able to work with patients while learning new and advanced medical procedures and treatment plans. “I also get to talk with physicians and get insights into the field I am planning on working in,” he said. “It has opened up an opportunity for me to shadow physicians in many different specialties, including but not limited to, emergency medicine, trauma surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, neuro surgery, family practice and infectious disease.”

His favorite classes at LHU so far have been genetics with Dr. Carina Howell, his advisor, and cellular and molecular biology with Dr. Ted Nuttall. “These were exciting classes that challenged me, but also had my interest at every moment,” he said.

Anderson said LHU also has helped him prepare for taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). “I can’t say enough good things about my education at LHU,” he added. “My science professors were absolutely outstanding and were almost always available to answer my questions. My favorite part about LHU is the small class sizes and my professors actually know me by name.”

In addition to being a stellar student, he also is a gifted artist and enjoys making pottery. “I have been making pottery since I was 15 years old,” Anderson said. “I started with my own wheel and now I have several kilns and my own studio setup. I am really inspired by all things nature when it comes to my pots, so I craft functional pottery with natural elements mixed into my glazes, to add slight variations and uniqueness to each pot or form.”

Anderson also has been a member of the Downtown Lock Haven Rotary Club since May 2015 and has participated in a year-long Rotary Youth Exchange program, where he studied abroad in Austria during his senior year of high school. “While I was there I lived with three different host families, attended Austrian school, learned German and Austrian culture and had the opportunity to travel all around Europe.”

After coming home from his time in Austria and starting at LHU, his aunt, Cindy Love, asked him to join the Rotary Club and has been a member ever since, helping organize events to raise money for local non-profit organizations. “We have a huge focus on projects for veterans and helping them in any way that we can,” Anderson said. “On Memorial Day, we get sponsors for flags in triangle park, light luminaries in the park for 9/11 and provide retired veterans with care packages during Christmas.”

Anderson said his goal at the moment is to be a very successful medical student and perform well on the STEP I exams, which ultimately determine the residency he can be placed in.

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit, email, or call 570-484-2011. 

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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

Jessie Anderson

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