Andrea Fry's internship allowed her to picture herself as a future health care provider.
An intern through Akron Children's Hospital's Pediatric Research Scholars Program (SPRS), the former student body vice president spent last summer working with Drs. Richard Hertle and Tawna Roberts at the Children's Vision Center, studying patients with the rare eye disease, Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome. She also observed 13 departments, completed 100 hours of job shadowing, and spent 200 hours of research and patient interaction.
"This experience allowed me to understand the importance of ongoing research in pediatric medicine," Fry said. "I left feeling confident in my abilities and hopeful for an opportunity to care for patients and their families in the future."
This May, she will present some of research with her research team at the Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology's (ARVO) annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. When she returns, she'll be attending the University of Mount Union's graduate school to become a physician's assistant (PA), perhaps in pediatric medicine.
Fry began her college career as an education major, but then an elder in her church, a surgeon, suggested she consider exploring the PA field.
"My internship with Akron Children’s Hospital helped solidify that this career path is where God is leading me," Fry said. "I was able to experience how my love for children and love for science can be integrated in pediatric medicine. I want to be able to provide children with the best quality of life despite medical disadvantages, just like the medical professionals did for my sister, who was born with some medical issues."
Even after changing her major, Fry said she's grateful for the path she has taken.
"Malone is where I found my passion for science again," Fry said. "I loved how my professors took the time to integrate faith with science, and how to stand strong in both beliefs in a world that likes to tell us you cannot believe in both. We are all very close in the science department. Those close relationships with my peers and professors are part of the reason I am where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without any of them."
FUTURE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. Andrea Fry '17 is eager to begin her career as a physician assistant after graduate school. Fry was active on Malone's campus as student body vice president and Student Senate Director of Communications, cheerleader, peer tutor, research assistant, and committee member for Diversity & Inclusion.