Shane Walters is a junior biology major in the college's Honors Program; he possesses a strong passion for bridging his love of science with his desire to serve the community. While maintaining an exceptional 3.88 GPA, he has pursued leadership positions and academic opportunities that connect his career aspirations to social impact and advocacy.
Among his long list of accomplishments, Shane is currently one of 16 students pursuing his Presidential Leadership Certificate as a member of our award-winning Leadership Development Program. Shane's commitment to the program since his freshman year demonstrates his willingness to engage in personal growth and socially responsible leadership. Additionally, as vice-president of the Gender Equity Movement (GEM), he has coordinated numerous events including Indigenous People Day, Gender Equity Night, Trans-Awareness Tie-Dye, Take Back the Night March, and the Be the Revolution month-long series of programs designed to empower people of all genders. Shane has attended the college's Racial Justice Training and is a trained Deliberative Dialogue Facilitator for campus. In this capacity, he has moderated forums that explored a variety of social and policy issues using the model created by the Kettering Institute and National Issues Forum Institute.
As a future biomedical researcher, my career path seems removed from day to day civic duties, but I still find ways to involve myself and my interests. I appreciate the need for research on a wide variety of topics to share information with the communities and policies affected by it. We scientists often fall short sharing what we learn and how best to apply what we learn to do good.
Well documented is the link of oppression, stress, and poverty to overall health. Not only does research show correlative data, but also causative. Oppression and poverty lead to stress, stress leads to poorer health, and a higher risk of infection, chronic disease, and cancer. While my future career focuses on fixing these problems, I will simultaneously advocate for preventing these problems from developing in the first place.
The motif of scientists in an ivory tower needs to end. While our work is critical for the advancement of society, it does no good to hide it behind jargon and paywalls. I want to break down those barriers to help people understand their responsibility in the health and wellness of others, when it comes to decisions about the environment, poverty, and oppression.