Lee Kenyon '12

Lee Picture

Name: Lee Kenyon

Graduating Class: 2012

Major: Biology

My Story:

My name is Lee Kenyon and I graduated from Gustavus in 2012. I grew up in Sioux Falls, SD and graduated from Lincoln High in 2007. During my time at Gustavus, I served as the Pre-Med Club Treasurer; a Biology Peer Mentor, Tutor, and TA; and various other leadership positions.

Although my reasons for choosing GAC may have been typical, I never could have imaged how great the experience truly would be. I knew I wanted a small liberal arts school with a solid science department and a good faculty to staff ratio. I figured the professors would be nice, but their excellence blew my expectations out of the water. They definitely helped guide and encourage me along my journey in a wonderful way.

My interest in pre-medicine started during high school when I shadowed a variety of family friends who happened to be physicians. I entered GAC planning to be a chemistry major, but after a semester with Jon Grinnell, I quickly switched to Biology. During the spring of my freshman year, I found an internship at a local hospital in Sioux Falls, so I was able to shadow docs on an even more regular basis.

My most influential experience at Gustavus confirming my pre-medicine path was actually rather surprising. During my freshman year, my roommate and I discussed the idea of taking a year off after sophomore year. We knew we enjoyed school, but we wanted some kind of unique experience that would allow us to experience life in an unfettered manor, away from academics. So we dropped out of school, bought one way tickets to London, and embarked on a 6 month-long backpacking adventure around Europe and Northern Africa. And the complete freedom and opportunities of traveling abroad allowed me to realize how much I wanted to come back to these places with one difference. I knew that I wanted to return with a skillset that would allow me to provide medical care to those in need. After returning to GAC for my Junior year, I was ready to buckle down and embark on the journey to medical school.

Top Five Activities/Experiences:

1. Leo A. Hoffmann Center Volunteer – the boys at the center are amazing. Definitely try and get involved through the CSL. Working with them changed my view on an underserved and often discriminated demographic.
2. Servant Leadership Program – this program gave me very novel insight on what service truly is, and motives behind doing it. If you’re looking for some deep, radical minds, this program is for you.

3. HHMI Peer Mentor – Biology – Teaching experience is always beneficial, plus it helped me form a unique and blessed relationship with the science faculty that I would never have been able to experience
4. January Career Exploration – as I mentioned, shadowing docs was a great way to help solidify my desire to become a physician!
5. Camp Counseling during the summer – in my opinion, summers should be about unwinding. And what better way to do that than to get paid to rockclimb, wakeboard, backpack, and play games with kids?

My Class Schedule (click to view PDF)


Shadow physicians! The only way you’ll know what its like to be a doctor is to follow them around. Plus, you’ll definitely be asked about this during med school applications and interviews, so be ready for some heartfelt anecdotes!
But that said, be diverse! Don’t only focus on the sciences. Getting into medical school is so much more than just getting a good science GPA (although it is a necessary requirement). Spread out your interests and get involved in humanitarian efforts. During my med school interview, my best answers actually revolved around my experiences backpacking as a camp counselor. So find your interests and enjoy them! One of the most amazing things about GAC is the number of clubs you can join and find other people who are just as passionate as you are.
And finally, get to know your professors! If you’re genuinely interested in your major, your professors will be more than happy to talk with you about more ways to get involved, plus they often have some amazing stories! Being able to reach a level of camaraderie with the faculty and staff really sets GAC apart.

Future Plans:

I’ll be entering Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Lebanon, OR in Fall 2012!

If you have any questions about Osteopathic Medicine, please feel free to email me!



Updated 10/19/2012 JMV