From R-MC to Graduate School: Yellow Jackets Prepare for Healthcare Careers

May 18, 2017


Randolph-Macon College students are going places. Just ask seniors Robert Redenz '17, Abbey Warren '17, Matthew Houle '17 and Katelyn McCay '17. All four are headed to graduate school this fall as they continue on a path toward careers in healthcare. Each worked closely with Josh Quinn, associate director of professional development and medical careers for The Edge, R-MC's career preparation program, as they set their sights on working in healthcare.

Student Robert RedenzRobert Redenz '17
A biology major and chemistry minor, Redenz will attend the VCU School of Dentistry this fall. He has known since his freshman year that he wants a career in dentistry.

"I decided that a biology major and chemistry minor would give me a strong background for dental school," says Redenz, who solidified his passion for dentistry by doing a January Term (J-term) internship and by meeting regularly with Quinn.

"Josh helped me understand the dental-school application process and worked with me to make sure I had everything I needed to have the best application possible," says Redenz, a recipient of R-MC's Achievement Grant.

"Robert has always wanted to help people to have a better smile and has consistently sought out opportunities to work with dental professionals, including volunteering at the Mission of Mercy project, which reinforced the importance of serving the community for him," says Quinn.

In addition to his academic achievements, Redenz made waves as a member of the varsity swim team, setting seven individual R-MC records and contributing to six relay records. In addition, he set three Old Dominion Athletic Conference records, and currently holds the conference records in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke. During his senior season alone, he was awarded the ODAC Swimmer of the Week four times, and was named the ODAC Swimmer of the Year.

"The sense of community on this campus—everyone is so welcoming, accepting, and willing to help—is what makes R-MC unique," says Redenz.

Abbey Warren pictureAbbey Warren '17
Warren, a Spanish major and biology and chemistry minor, will begin studies this fall at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School.

A volunteer opportunity at a free clinic and an internship with a dentist helped ready Warren for dental school. Quinn helped Warren polish her résumé, "and he edited my dental school personal essay countless times," she says. "I could not have gone through the process of preparing for my dream career without his help."

Warren took her first Spanish course when she was a freshman, and the following year she studied abroad in Spain for five months, where her love for the language grew stronger. She also used her language skills as a volunteer at a free clinic, helping patients communicate with doctors and nurses.

"My advice to new Yellow Jackets is to take advantage of the many opportunities presented to you," says Warren. She speaks from experience. Her life on campus has included participation in numerous student organizations, including Kappa Alpha Theta, the Honors program, the Pre-health Society, and Leadership Fellows. She also finds time to serve as a Spanish tutor and academic mentor for the Higgins Academic Center, and she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi and Gamma Sigma Alpha honors societies.

Says Quinn, "Abbey always made the effort to come to events with dental alumni and admissions deans. She utilized what she learned from those events to develop a plan to gain experience and complete summer courses to ensure she would achieve her goal of becoming a dentist."

Matthew Houle Matthew Houle '17
"The best thing about being a Yellow Jacket is the close sense of family between alumni and students," says Houle, a biology major and chemistry minor who will begin classes this fall at the George Washington Medical School in conjunction with GW's Early Selection agreement with R-MC.

As a recipient of the Dr. Paul H. Wornom Pre-Medicine Fellowship, a full-tuition scholarship designed for students that are prepared and driven to pursue a career in medicine, Houle connected with The Edge early in his college career, meeting with Quinn as he decided on what classes to take and which career path to follow.

"I had heard about the partnerships that R-MC has with three medical schools, and I worked with Josh throughout the application process," he recalls.

"Matt's drive and passion to pursue medicine shined through even as a prospective student interviewing during a scholarship weekend," says Quinn. "He continued his focus throughout his time at R-MC and it will serve him well as he goes on to become a physician."

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Houle is also a member of the varsity soccer team, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Beta Beta Beta, Chi Beta Phi, and Omicron delta Kappa. He also makes time to help his fellow students as a tutor in the Higgins Academic Center.
During January Term (J-term) 2017, Houle studied abroad in Australia and New Zealand, exploring The Chemistry of Winemaking under the guidance of Chemistry Professor Serge Schreiner. Travelers learned about the grape plant, visited the departments of enology and viticulture at several research universities, and visited wine laboratories. "The time abroad helped expand my understanding of other cultures," says Houle.

Katelyn McCay pictureKatelyn McCay '17
McCay, a biology major, will begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Virginia Commonwealth University this fall. To prepare for PT school, she took advantage of all that R-MC offers, from career preparation to hands-on training.

As an intern at Select Physical Therapy in Mechanicsville, Virginia, McCay put in 40-hour weeks at the clinic, which deepened her commitment to becoming a physical therapist. She also met regularly with Quinn, who offered advice on taking the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), gave her tips on writing an application essay, and helped explain to the requirements for PT school. Cathy Rollman, director of professional development for The Edge, helped McCay create a résumé.

"Katelyn has consistently set herself up for success, pursuing internships and other experiences that paved the way for her acceptance into multiple DPT programs, and ultimately pursuing her top choice of VCU," says Quinn.

McCay, a recipient of the Trustee's Award and the Stewart F. Reid Family Scholarship, is an active member of the R-MC community. She is a Higgins Academic Center tutor, a cheerleader, and a member of Leadership Fellows, the Pre-health Society, Delta Zeta, and the Committee on College Life. She is also a member of the Beta Beta Beta, Omicron Delta Kappa, Chi Beta Phi, and Gamma Sigma Alpha honor societies.

"Get involved," she suggests to new students who want to make the most of college life.  "I've met some of my best friends from the organizations I've joined, and I can't imagine my life without them."

The Edge at R-MC
The Edge, an intensive four-year program that prepares students for life after college, gives students a competitive advantage in the job market or graduate-school admissions process. Workshops, internships, one-on one advising, a career and networking Boot Camp, and a host of other resources ensure that students who graduate from R-MC are lifelong learners who can think critically and adapt to new situations.