Brittany Armenta ('12) | Biology
from The Woodlands, Texas
Someday Brittany Armenta wants to work with kids who have cancer. As a pediatric oncologist, she'll walk into a hospital or a clinic every day and face children whose lives have been turned upside down by a disease they don't fully understand. She'll deal with the pain of parents and relatives who can't fathom why their child is so terribly sick. She'll grieve for the patients she loses and rejoice with the ones who recover. But through it all, she will be heeding a summons she heard years ago.
"I just felt called to do this," she says.
Brittany has wanted to pursue pediatric oncology for a long time - in fact, she doesn't even remember when she began to consider it as a career choice. Throughout her life, she has been involved with teaching and caring for children. Her parents are deeply involved in children's ministry at their church, and Brittany joined them in their efforts. To her, children are absolutely amazing.
Combining love of children with love of science
"I love children," she says. "They embody the love of Christ, and the strength."
That desire to love and help children is connected to Brittany's love of science and her endless fascination with how the world around her works.
"I've always really liked science," she says. "I was always curious."
During high school, Brittany was homeschooled by her mother. She learned science with her mom during her freshman and sophomore years, but took college biology at the local junior college her last two years of high school. The extra college hours gave her an advantage when she came to ACU in the fall of 2008.
Medical school acceptance rate, Christian atmosphere give ACU appeal
Brittany chose ACU for both academic and personal reasons. She liked the Body & Soul program, which allows students to shadow doctors and get a hands-on look at the medical profession. She also liked the fact that ACU graduates have a high acceptance rate to medical school.
Those weren't the only reasons, though. Brittany was also looking for a place where she could find people who shared her values, a Christian atmosphere that would encourage her to stay connected to her faith. She found it here.
"I felt like I belonged," she says.
As a part of the biology department, she has enjoyed smaller classes and extra help from her professors when she needs it. She appreciates the fact that her professors know her and are available to offer assistance; they also display Christian values, living out their faith.
"I have loved it so far," she says.
Shadowing local pediatrician through Body & Soul
One of her most exciting experiences was shadowing a local pediatrician through the Body & Soul program. Although she didn't see anything more intriguing than strep throat and the common cold, she loved watching a doctor at work. And it was a chance to do one of her favorite things in the world - interact with kids. Some were shy, some were friendly, but all of them needed help. That's why she was there.
Brittany hopes to continue her involvement with Body & Soul - perhaps shadowing an oncologist next time. She also would like to do an internship with a hospital or clinic before she graduates. And she's looking forward to volunteering at a hospital at home. She'll go through training and serve as a nurse's aide - which may not seem like a glamorous job. But glamour isn't what Brittany's about.
"I'm more of a people person," she said.
And there are plenty of people who will be very glad to hear that.
- Lewis Hun ('10) McNair Scholar, Biology
- Ryan Flores ('15) Biology
- Karli McCoy ('11) Biology/Pre-Med
- Marie Dufitumukiza ('11) Biology/Pre-Med
- Dr. Rebecca Hunter, Biology Professor
- Dusty Vaughn ('06) USDA Forest Service
- Dr. Qiang Xu's Research Targets Mosquitos
- Body & Soul Program Pre-Health Professions
- Abby Trejo ('09) Biology/Pre-Med
- Brittany Armenta ('12) Biology/Pre-Med
- Dr. Tom Lee Takes Biology Outdoors
- Katie Morin ('09) | Biology/Pre-med
- Kyle Willingham ('09) Biology/Pre-Med
- Josh Brokaw, Assistant Professor of Biology
- Erin Boyd ('12) Biology & Psychology