for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Student Profile: Michelle Filanovsky (Class of 2011)
- senior zoology major with a minor in music composition
- from Toledo, OH
- first recipient of the Ken and Joan Frankel Outstanding Premedical Student Award
"One of my favorite things about Miami is that it is such a well-rounded university. While here, I was able to pursue my interest in science by majoring in zoology, and I was also able to continue my involvement with music by minoring in music composition. Not only has my minor helped me keep music in my life, but it has also challenged me to think in a more creative fashion, which has helped me in my science classes. Composing also seemed like a nice challenge to me, as I previously only had experience in piano performance. I'm proud to say that I have now composed several pieces, and I had one of them (Tribute to Oxaloacetate [PDF]) performed at a composers' recital in the spring of my senior year.
"Even as a pre-med with a challenging course load, I was still able to study abroad in New Zealand in the summer through a study abroad workshop offered through the Outdoor Pursuit Center. Through this experience, I back-packed, ice-climbed, and sea kayaked all over the southern island of New Zealand, while learning about New Zealand's culture and wildlife. This resonated well with my studies in Oxford, as I saw first-hand how fauna and flora can be protected and preserved in their natural environments. In addition, the experience offered me physical challenges which pushed my mental strength and improved my teamwork and leadership skills.
"Because Miami is an undergraduate-focused, moderately sized university, it was so easy to get involved with different activities. Throughout my four years here, I have participated in research, tutored students as a supplemental instruction leader for chemistry, been involved with Hillel, swam for the club swim team, and served on the executive board of my sorority. I've also volunteered in the Oxford community by answering calls for the Oxford Community Counseling and Crisis Center's crisis hotline. All of these activities have helped me become a strong leader, improve my communication skills, and identify and improve upon my weaknesses — all traits that will help me succeed in my goal of becoming a physician. And this is just a small sample of the plethora of opportunities available to Miami undergraduates: there is a club for any interest a student may have, and it is very easy to find a niche here.
"The best advice I can give to incoming students is to pursue what you love. Don't participate in certain activities because you feel like that is the only path you can take to pursuing your dream of becoming a physician. You will be happiest here if you take part in activities and take courses that you are truly passionate about, and in the end you will be a more well-rounded, creative-minded person and a strong medical school applicant. There are many paths to take as a pre-med at Miami, and you should not be afraid to create your own."