My name is Claire Unruh and I grew up in Clay Center, Kansas. I am entering my third year at Bethel College, dual majoring in Biology and Bible & Religion, with an anticipated minor in Chemistry. Upon graduation from Bethel, I plan to eventually enter medical school, specializing in surgery.
When I say that I am majoring in both Religion and Biology, I often get strange looks, as if the two areas were mutually exclusive. To me, they are not. In fact, they are complementary. However, I’ll leave that particular bit of introspection to your personal discernment. Religion and Biology have interested me for years. There’s nothing I love better than a solid discussion of personal or communal theology, and nothing that gets me more excited than human biology. I think that they are both wonderfully complex and fascinating subjects. The biology classes at Bethel have taught me how to study well, to effectively read a textbook, and the importance of multi-colored highlighting. From my Bible & Religion classes, I have learned how to think and not just mindlessly regurgitate facts and processes, as well as learning to evaluate societal themes and the importance of adopting a personally relevant theology.
While not studying, I am usually taking photographs at one sporting event or the other, something that has occupied my free time for years. Sports photography is my favorite theme, but I also enjoy any type of photography that involves people – modeling, portraits, campus events, candid shots, it doesn’t matter. I am also involved with the Spanish Club, Climbing Club, and am a biology lab aide, as well as tutoring in the Spanish, Biology, and Bible & Religion departments. Several hours a week, I work at the Newton Medical Center as a nurse’s aide in the surgery department, which is a wonderful job. Sometimes when it’s slow, I am able to go into the O.R. and watch surgeries in progress – a great way to see if working with someone else’s viscera is what I want to do with the rest of my life.
I chose Bethel College for its highly-recommended Biology department, small size, and the many opportunities that are offered to the students. I do not believe that, had I gone to a larger university or private college, I would be able to be so involved in campus or academic life. At Bethel, I call my professors by their first names, am invited to their houses for supper, and feel quite comfortable stopping by their office. Walking across campus, I know the names of the vast majority of passing students and am typically greeted by name or with a “hi” or “good morning/afternoon.” Making friends at Bethel is not limited by who lives in one's hall, or by who sits across from one in Chemistry lab, or by who is studying in the same department, as it is in larger schools. Bethel is truly a wonderful environment in which to cultivate lasting friendships, however cheesy that may sound.
This coming school year will be an interesting one. I’ll be taking more credit hours and working more hours on- and off-campus than I ever have before, in addition to studying for the MCAT. I’m looking forward to the challenge, but at the same time, desperately hoping that I don’t fold. We shall see.