Eutectics Senior Reaches Her Goals in Health Care
For senior Emily Sitkowski, the idea of working towards a career in health care, while playing a sport, and being active on her future college campus didn’t seem possible. But, after a visit from a UHSP admissions representative, she believed she could do it all.
“During college, I wanted to get a degree in health care, and I wanted to play soccer,” Sitkowski said. “The UHSP admissions representative that came to my high school put me in contact with the women’s soccer coach, who I immediately emailed, and through that interaction I felt that playing soccer and becoming a health care professional seemed like something I could definitely do.”
Finding Passion in the Science Field
Sitkowski, a Chicago native, has been playing soccer since the age of four. But it wasn’t until junior year in high school that she discovered her love for science.
“Since I loved science so much, I found myself wondering what I could do with that, which is when I thought about the medical field,” Sitkowski explained. “In high school I began considering a career in pharmacy, which would allow me to interact with patients and use science to better understand drug interactions.”
When she arrived on the UHSP campus, Sitkowski realized her passion for becoming a physician assistant.
“I was on a pharmacy path, but I got exposed to other health professions opportunities while on campus, and my goal became to earn a master’s in physician assistant studies and focus on women’s health and nutrition.”
Scoring with Experiences
In 2020, Sitkowski was selected to serve as a volunteer in the NICU Cuddler program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
“That experience opened my eyes to women’s health because I was able to talk to and connect with the mothers during this time and learn about their experiences with the hospitals and doctors to see what could be improved.”
On campus, Sitkowski was a research scholar, working in the lab alongside Dana Morrone, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry.
“My time with Dr. Morrone helped me realize just how much research there is to do out there,” Sitkowski noted. “I was getting to do biochemistry my freshman year, and you don’t even take biochemistry until your junior year, so I was gaining all this knowledge and experience that really helped me when I finally took biochemistry.”
On top of being a student athlete and research scholar, Sitkowski served as a tutor, managed the women’s soccer team’s social media pages, was a member of Kappa Epsilon, served with the Student Government Association and was a student ambassador.
“There’s so much support here at UHSP,” Sitkowski said. “I was able to personalize my experience because my professors and coaches were so approachable and supportive of everything I was doing.”
Moving Forward in Health Care
Sitkowski is graduating with her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences this month, and already has a job lined up in a women’s clinic in Chicago to help get the patient care hours she needs to apply for a physician assistant program. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless.
“Right now, I would love to go into family or pediatric medicine so I can focus on preventative care and lifestyle interest,” Sitkowski explained. “I’m also interested in getting a master’s in nutrition or becoming a registered dietician to add to my education in preventative medicine.”
Sitkowski wants future students to know that you can do it all at UHSP.
“I think this is one of the best places for students because you can make the experience your own and there will be professors, coaches, students and teammates that will support you all along the way.”