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Outstanding graduate prepares for medical school

Brittany Ebbing
April 25, 2013

Brittany Ebbing knew from the time she was a child that she was destined to be a doctor.

Majoring in family and human development at the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University provided Ebbing with extensive knowledge in child development as she works toward her goal of becoming a pediatrician.

“I’m really interested in working with kids,” she said. “It’s beneficial to have that knowledge base and I was also able to fit in all of my pre-med requirements.”

She’ll graduate summa cum laude with awards including the Dean’s Medal from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Moeur award for a perfect 4.0 grade point average among other qualifications.

As she completes her education at ASU and prepares to enter medical school in the fall, Ebbing reflected on her years at the university and what the experience meant to her.

ASU proved to be a natural choice for Ebbing. A Phoenix native, her mother always talked about how much she loved the university and when ASU offered the best scholarships among in-state schools, that sealed the deal. Ebbing applied to the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, but ASU offered her a President's Scholarship that provided $9,000 per academic year toward college costs.

“I’ve had a great experience at ASU,” she said. “I’m really fortunate for all of the opportunities that I’ve had here. It’s just been a great four years.”

Throughout her experiences at the university, Ebbing has benefitted from being part of Barrett, the Honors College, where she was able to work closely with faculty and through the Sanford School where she developed a peer network who still gather together for study groups.

Accomplishing through action could be Ebbing’s catch phrase for her years at ASU. There’s no doubt that this graduating senior studied hard to earn a perfect 4.0 at the university, but she also became involved in many organizations and took an active leadership role at ASU.

A sampling of Ebbing’s accomplishments and adventures at the university:  

Working as an intern in the Office of the Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., proved an invaluable experience in learning how communities address healthcare needs of the underserved. Ebbing created a handbook to provide health care resources for underserved communities.

Community action research was the theme of her honors thesis; Ebbing designed a project to help a nonprofit health clinic, which led her to an appreciation of the good that those in the nonprofit arena accomplish. Volunteering in a local hospital’s child-life program provided her with experience working with sick children and also celebrating milestones for children who are there on a long-term basis.

“I love working with the kids and helping distract them from their hospital experience,” she said.

A study abroad trip to London, Dublin and Edinburgh provided her with the opportunity to experience England, Ireland and Scotland and to earn class credit in two upper-division honors classes on the United Kingdom’s history and the British Empire’s economy.

“The trip was a great opportunity to develop relationships with faculty and peers,” she said.

Ebbing was also active in ASU’s Nutritional Health and Wellness student organization that spreads healthy eating messages to fifth-graders throughout the Valley. The organization was just awarded $4,000 from ASU’s Obesity Solutions to fund its work.

“All of those experiences outside of the classroom are what help drive me inside the classroom. I would tell myself that one day I’ll be able to take care of patients if I just study organic chemistry this weekend,” she said. That dream is becoming closer to reality as she prepares to enter medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix this fall.

In her spare time, Ebbing finds time to mentor an Obama Scholar, who is also pre-med.

“He’s really enthusiastic. I’m just amazed at all he is doing even as a freshman,” she said.

Perhaps it’s simply a classic case of a student following in his mentor’s successful footsteps.