David Supinski finds the human condition fascinating – as an athlete and in the biology lab. This passion has driven him to graduate one year early and go on to pursue orthopedic surgery in medical school.
David Supinski ’19, Baxter, Minn.
Major; Minors: Biology; Chemistry, Spanish
Why did you choose to study biology at Concordia?
I will graduate from Concordia a year early with a biology major and with chemistry and Spanish minors. If I were to stay at Concordia for a fourth year, I would have turned my chemistry minor into a major. I have always appreciated the contrast between the abstract, conceptual side and the concrete, mathematical side of chemistry. However, biology has always called for me. I find life and specifically the human condition to be fascinating and I enjoyed learning about biology in all of its forms, from the cell to human physiology.
What were you looking for when searching for your college?
When selecting a college, I had the intent to pursue an education and career in medicine. The preprofessional preparation at Concordia is phenomenal. Opportunities such as shadowing for credit, a cadaver lab and a committee letter written by the college were important considerations in my decision. The science programs at Concordia are rigorous and they prepare Cobbers well to succeed in future education. Finally, I decided that a liberal arts education was becoming more valuable than ever. I wanted to receive a science education in association with history, religion and the arts to receive a more holistic understanding of myself as well as those around me.
What are your plans post-college?
Post-college I intend to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine. I am currently interested in orthopedic surgery, but I recognize that I have a lot yet to see within the medical field. I look forward to exploring and learning more about the various specialties and picking the one that best suits my interests. Medicine has been my career goal for many years and I am very excited as I am getting closer to realizing it. I look forward to a lifelong commitment to learning, as well as a career filled with people and science.
Who have been some of your most influential professors at Concordia?
Dr. Jason Askvig instructed my biology 121 and 406 courses. His courses have been the bookends of my undergraduate education. However, the most important thing that Dr. Askvig has done for me has nothing to do with biology. Being a strong proponent of graduate school, Dr. Askvig has encouraged me to consider and confirm my desire to pursue medicine simply through his passionate approval of other postgraduate programs. This alternative to the pedestal that I had put medical school on was very important in my decision to become a doctor.
My religion 200 professor, Dr. David Creech, represented the meaning of a liberal arts education and fulfilled Concordia’s mission perfectly. I appreciated his approach to the course and he opened my eyes to the diversity in our own community, as well as the world and how as educated individuals we are to be responsibly engaged in it.
Do you have a favorite class?
My favorite class at Concordia has been Anatomy and Physiology. I enjoy this course because the material is so applicable to my future in medicine. As an athlete, I am also very dedicated and invested in the human body and understanding how it works and what is happening when it does not. Anatomy and physiology is the study of ourselves and it is hard not to get excited about that. Additionally, working in the cadaver lab is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It has been a privilege and an experience that very few people can claim to have had. It is a unique knowledge and skill to take with me through the rest of my life, especially in a future in medicine.
What other things were you involved in (clubs, jobs, etc.)?
I have had the opportunity to be involved in many things outside of class. I have participated in track and field for all three of my years as a Cobber. My sophomore year, I was involved with Homecoming as a member of the tailgating committee. The following year, I was fortunate to act as assistant chair. I have worked in the library, as a tutor through the Academic Enhancement and Writing Center, and as an independent tutor. I also briefly worked in the Alumni Office in connection to my role with the Homecoming committee. I volunteered my sophomore year at the Family HealthCare clinic in Fargo. I was also a founding member of the Table Tennis Club at Concordia.
What are some of the benefits of the new Integrated Science Center?
I am very excited to see a space well equipped for undergraduate research. The value of undergraduate research is undeniable. Finding solutions to real-world problems challenges students and requires curiosity, critical thinking, and oftentimes interdisciplinary approaches. Having this building provides exciting opportunities for the sustained research on our campus. Additionally, the new building provides enhanced science education for non-science students.
What is one piece of advice that you would give a first-year student considering pre-med?
If I were to give one piece of advice to an aspiring pre-med freshman, I would tell them to learn why they want to be a doctor. This is one of the most obvious questions asked of undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in medicine yet one of the hardest to answer.
You may think you know, but chances are you could use some concrete examples. Shadowing, volunteering and working within the medical field in college are great way to explore your future in medicine, as well as show medical school admission committees that you are well aware of the commitment you are making.
How do you feel Concordia has prepared and shaped you to be ready to BREW after graduation?
Concordia and its liberal arts education have prepared me to live in a global society and I feel well equipped to make a difference in my future community. I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone, asked to question my beliefs, and strive for excellence in everything that I do. The small, supportive community here at Concordia has provided more opportunities than I could have guessed. My unique experiences working in diverse situations with people from diverse backgrounds has equipped me to positively influence those around me.
Danyel Moe '17 is a content specialist at Concordia.