Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy School Advisor Daniel Scott leads incoming pre-health students during the Centre’s Summer Health Immersion Program.

First-year students explore career preparation in new Summer Health Immersion Program

by Matt Overing

Centre College News

First-year Centre College students interested in a healthcare career recently got a jump-start to their college experience exploring pre-health studies on campus through the College’s new Summer Health Immersion Program (SHIP).

“I knew that this program would be a great introduction to learning how well Centre will prepare me for my future in healthcare and science,” said incoming first-year student Ella Crumpton. “I feel that this experience has already prepared me for school at Centre in the fall.

“I was introduced to the way a Centre chemistry class would run,” she continued, “helping me feel prepared for going into classes this fall.”

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Erin Wachter said that the program had three goals: skill building, research and forming relationships.

“Students participated in morning skill-building sessions that focused on general chemistry problem solving,” Wachter said. “These sessions were designed to get these students working in teams to solve difficult problems that will begin preparing them to be successful in their STEM classes at Centre. Students also participated in an active research project with Dr. Daniel Scott in the afternoons. This time gave students the opportunity to see what research looks like at the College.”

As for forming relationships, Wachter noted several healthcare professionals with whom students were introduced, in person and via Zoom: John Barton ’79, M.D., Tao Le ’91, M.D., and Monica Wesley ’09, Pharm.D.

Students engaged in a panel discussion with alumni who are currently in or recently finished a healthcare professional program: Josh Karsner ‘15, M.D., Logan Oatman ‘18, Pharm.D, M.S., Mary Katherine Oberman ‘21 and Taylor Walker-Smith ‘18, D.M.D. Participants also interacted with current students who were on campus for the summer along with the faculty members involved with this program.

Wachter was joined by fellow chemistry faculty January Haile, Jennifer Muzyka, Daniel Scott and Kari Young. Wachter said that SHIP helped “break the ice” on interacting with a professor.

“Probably one of the most valuable aspects of attending SHIP for me was just being able to adjust to living on campus and meeting new people before orientation,” said incoming first-year student Jonathan McCoy. “I also feel very well prepared for chemistry; Dr. Young and her colleagues in the chemistry program gave all of us a very thorough refresher so we can succeed this fall.”

Wachter said that advising conversations, as well as how to get involved in research, were part of SHIP. Students also got the opportunity to explore different healthcare professions and thought about how each student’s interests, skills and values align with their dream occupation.

McCoy said that as soon as he heard of SHIP, he knew it was a program worth his time.

“I’ve been interested in pursuing a medical career for as long as I can remember, so as soon as I heard about the program, I was excited to learn more,” he said. “I was also glad to have an opportunity to learn what it’s like to live on campus before actual move-in.”

The Summer Health Immersion Program was funded by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and the Associated Colleges of the South. Learn more about pre-health studies at Centre here. For more on future SHIP sessions, interested students may contact

Pictured above: Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy School Advisor Daniel Scott leads incoming pre-health students during the Centre’s Summer Health Immersion Program.