For Dr. Michael Loushin ’94, experience with student research opened the door to a career he had never considered before attending Concordia.
Loushin addressed student researchers as one of two honored alumni invited to speak at the Celebration of Student Scholarship (CoSS) event April 15.
Today, Loushin is a board certified anesthesiologist and founder of a medical device company focused on improving pediatric surgical technologies. Coming to Concordia, a medical degree wasn’t originally part of his plan, but his course changed as a result of a liberal arts education that afforded him the opportunity to grow beyond a single major or discipline.
“I had experiences that I didn’t realize would be significant until later, after my time at Concordia,” Loushin said. “Know that the broad academic work you are doing today lays the foundation for future success.”
In some respects, that success is already evident. At the CoSS event, there were 190 projects by 331 students, and every department on campus was represented.
Even by national standards, Concordia’s commitment to student research is significant. Student researchers represented the college with distinction at this year’s Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society convention and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).
Maddie Johnson ’15, a biology and history major, acted as a student host at this year’s CoSS event. She believes that while her own research opportunities will be a benefit in the future, they also helped her find her fit at Concordia.
“Concordia puts greater emphasis on your whole self,” Johnson said. “My advisor always encouraged me to pursue classes I was passionate about.”
By taking advantage of cross-discipline research opportunities, Johnson has discovered and explored new interests in her time at Concordia.
“Liberal arts isn’t about just getting a job; it’s about seeing the world in a different way,” Johnson said. “As a student researcher, you get that.”
Speaking to students at the CoSS event as an honored alumna, Adva Aharonovich ’12 gave voice to her belief that the result of engaging undergraduate students in research closely aligns with the goals of a liberal arts education.
“It makes me proud that the proper emphasis is given to research at Concordia,” Aharonovich said. “What is a liberal arts education without the freedom to explore your interests?”