Rebecca Davis '13
Randolph-Macon College student Rebecca Davis ’13 says she was shocked
when she received an acceptance letter from George Washington University’s Early
“I was stunned,” says the Danville, Virginia native. “To be honest, I thought it
was a joke until I read the letter for the fifth time. It is a great medical school,
and I cannot wait to take part in their MD/Master of Public Health program.” Davis,
a Spanish major who plans to minor in
biology or chemistry, wants a career
in the medical field, and
R-MC’s Early Selection agreement with GWU may be just what the doctor ordered.
“The medical field is in need of bilingual physicians,” explains Davis, who uses
her Spanish-speaking skills when she volunteers at Saint Joseph’s Outreach Clinic
and works in the emergency room at Saint Mary’s Hospital. “There are so many Spanish-speaking
patients, but not enough bilingual physicians and nurses to properly communicate
with them,” she says.
Davis is a member of R-MC’s Pre-health Society, a student-run initiative that brings
in medical professionals—including R-MC alumni—to talk to students about career
opportunities. “It’s great to be a part of the Society because it gives students
valuable information about medical, dental and veterinary school,” says Davis, who
also assists with R-MC’s on-campus Emergency Medical Services program.
Davis did an internship during J-term 2011 with Bon Secours Free
Health Clinic and Care-A-van, which offers immunizations and free medical services
to adults and children without health insurance. “I was a Spanish interpreter for
the nurses and physicians,” she says. Spanish Professor Patricia Reagan helped secure
“I told her I wanted to volunteer at a place where I could build my language skills,”
says Davis. “A few hours later, Professor Reagan told me she had arranged the internship.
I cannot describe how much she has helped guide, instruct and encourage me,” she
says. Life as an intern was exhausting, but fulfilling, says Davis. “Believe it
or not, speaking Spanish all day is hard work!”
During summer 2011, Davis completed a research project in conjunction with R-MC’s
unique Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship
(SURF) program. “I worked with Professor Gubbels Bupp (biology) in determining the
molecular pathway through which calorie restriction results in immune benefits,”
says Davis. “We experimented with mice that we calorie-restricted for six weeks.
Some of those mice had a particular gene, FoxO1, deleted from their genome, in order
to help determine if expression of the gene is required for calorie restriction
immune benefits. The data we obtained suggest that calorie restriction does result
in immune benefits with the expression of FoxO1.” Davis is grateful to Gubbels Bupp
for her mentorship.
“She helped me with my SURF proposal, and I worked alongside her in the lab,” says
Davis. “It astounds me that Professor Gubbels Bupp can explain a very complex concept
or procedure in terms that I can understand and follow.”
Davis’ father, Stephen Davis ’77, told her about R-MC when she
was a child. “Dad said that he had many more opportunities at R-MC than his friends
had at larger colleges,” she says. “When I was looking at colleges, he brought me
here for a tour. My friends at bigger schools
say that they rarely get to interact with their professors. As many of my professors
know, I ask a ton of questions, so it was important that I go to a college that
has small class sizes.”
As for future plans, Davis says she plans on becoming a trauma surgeon or specializing
in infectious diseases. “Right now, my top choice is trauma because I love the hands-on
and problem-solving aspects of the job," shey says. "I work well under stress."
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