The alliance students come from high schools around the Omaha area and take college-level classes at UNMC to prepare for health careers. Each month, UNMC Today will profile an alliance student to let us get to know more about these young learners.
Today we meet Joe Schanbacher, a senior at Westside High School.
How did you get involved in the alliance?
About a year ago, I was shadowing Dr. Jordan Hankins, a professor of radiology at UNMC, and he suggested I look into the program to see if it might interest me. That night, after going to the High School Alliance website, I decided that this program was right for me.
What sparked your interest in science?
Throughout my time in elementary and middle school, I would regularly disassemble things to figure out their mechanism. From there, I became generally interested in how most things around me worked. After I took various courses like physiology, biology and sports medicine, I found a great interest in the complex mechanisms that drive the human body and how many pathological conditions may be corrected. Also, because many of my family members are medical professionals, I have had high exposure to the atmosphere of the medical field, something which I enjoy.
What are your career aspirations?
Before joining this program, I was leaning toward becoming a laparoscopic surgeon; however, after my exposure to the many different health professions, I am unsure, other than that I want to go to medical school after college. I realized that I should be open to what I allow my profession to become.
What has been the best part of your alliance experience?
The people I encounter on a daily basis are what make this program so great. It is nice to be able to openly learn perspectives from students all across Omaha and the surrounding areas. As for an academic topic, it is hard to decide from my shadowing experiences, from working in the lab at the DRC, to studying cadavers and much more. However, I personally think that my experience with the anatomy class has been the best; I have taken away so much knowledge that I can build on in the years to come.