Katie Morin ('09) | Biology
from Greeley, Colorado
Katie Morin's interest in medicine began her freshman year in high school with a gymnastics injury, a concussion and a trip to the hospital. Finding out what was going on inside her head led her to an ongoing fascination with the human brain - and from there, to the field of medicine.
Observing surgery was a really big thing. I felt like I was at home in the operating room; there was a really nice sense of this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
Although her interest in medicine may have begun after her concussion, Katie had always been attracted to science and its many possibilities. Her mother was a nurse, her father a children's dentist and orthodontist. She had an "awesome" science teacher in the fifth grade, took three years of biology in high school, and relates the story of a man from Colorado State University who let students dissect animal hearts and brains during a high school experiment.
Katie doesn't see her interest in biology as anything extraordinary. "I just had this innate passion for it. It's something that I just want to keep learning and learning and learning."
Luckily for her, Katie's love of learning led her straight to the biology department at ACU. Because of her interest in health professions, she observed surgeries through the Body & Soul program her junior year and found her calling.
"Observing surgery was a really big thing," she said. "I felt like I was at home in the operating room; there was a really nice sense of this is what I’m supposed to be doing."
Katie's decision to pursue medicine was already shaped by her experiences with medical missions abroad. She took a medical mission trip to Guatemala her freshman year and discovered both a passion for travel and a deep desire to help the less fortunate in other countries.
"That was the start of wanting to go to another country and practice medicine there," she said. "To be serving these people - washing their feet - was a really humbling experience."
Her trip to the Ukraine is one of her favorite mission experiences. Katie was a member of a team that worked with orphans at the Transitional Living Center, a home for orphans who have outgrown a traditional orphanage. The center teaches life skills and partners with a trade school for its students.
While involved in the program, Katie felt a deep connection to the orphans. She worried that the children would feel abandoned after her team left.
"The orphans would come up to me and say, 'You have to come back,' or 'Don't forget me. You can't forget me," she said. "It was really hard after we left because they just missed us so much."
Katie still keeps in contact with one of the children she mentored. She can't forget the experience she gained or the lessons she learned. "My heart is stuck in the Ukraine," she said.
Pursuing a dream
Katie's experiences abroad closely parallel the training and encouragement she received at ACU. She continued to pursue her dream of helping others through programs such as Body and Soul, and she benefited from strong relationships with her professors and participation in ACU's faith-based community.
"I really enjoy the smaller classes - the professors who really care about you and want you to capture your dreams," she said. "I can come here and find my foundations are deeply rooted in Christ."
After she graduates in May, Katie plans to attend the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado. After that, she's not sure where she will end up. Although she wants to become involved in global missions, her plans aren't concrete.
"It's kind of up in the air right now. I guess it's wherever God wants me to go," she said.
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