Emmaline Savidge ’22, Marysville, Wash.
Major/Minors: Biology; Chemistry, Theatre Art

Please tell us about yourself.

I’ve always had a deep interest in science. I attended a high school with a specific focus on STEM. Besides science, I have been active in theatre since I first began acting at the age of 12. At Concordia, my love of theatre has manifested in my employment at the campus costume shop. I have been involved in almost every theatrical production in some capacity behind the scenes and I have also performed in the department’s annual charity drag show.

Why did you choose Concordia?

I’m a third generation Cobber and was initially interested in Concordia because of my parent’s love for the school. What really drew me to the college, though, was the amazing pre-med program as well as the welcoming environment. It’s easy to find a rigorous STEM program that prepares students for a future in the medical field, but there’s not many in which the school feels like a family. After my first on-campus visit, I knew Concordia was the place for me to grow as a person and to expand my knowledge.

Do you have any favorite classes or professors who have helped you grow as an individual?

I’ve loved every class that I’ve taken at Concordia, but two classes that stand out are Organic Chemistry with Professor Mork and Genetics and Molecular Biology with Dr. Flaspohler. These two classes were both challenging and extremely engaging, which made their difficulty feel worthwhile.

Have you always been interested in pursuing a career in the medical field?

I’ve had an interest in pursuing a career in the medical field in some capacity since I was in early elementary school. My specific career interest in medicine has evolved as I’ve gotten older, but I’m focused now on becoming a physician specializing in infectious disease medicine.

Where were you working during the summer and what was your role?

I worked as a clinic assistant performing COVID screening at Pacific Northwest Fertility in Seattle. Our clinic offers a wide range of fertility-related treatments: egg freezing, in-vitro fertilization, genetic testing of embryos, gestational surrogacy, and donor eggs or sperm.

What did an average day look like for you at the clinic?

I arrived at the clinic around 7 a.m. and set up my station right outside the clinic’s entrance. There at the station, I was the first employee patients saw when visiting the clinic. I guided patients through the COVID screening process. I instructed them to wash their hands and remove the mask they were wearing. I then provided them with a sterile surgical mask and asked a series of screening questions. Finally, I took their temperature using a laser thermometer, which prevents contact with a patient’s skin. After patients were screened, they could then enter the clinic and check in for their appointments. When I wasn’t screening patients, I screened the clinic staff by taking their temperatures twice a day as well as logging the clinic’s mask use. When not performing my COVID screening duties, I could be found around the clinic helping various departments with tasks like data collection, editing training documents, emailing patients, and organizing records.

Do you have any highlights of your time at the clinic?

My favorite aspect of working at the clinic was connecting with patients and seeing them full of joy after their appointments. We gave people an opportunity to expand their families and you can easily see how it positively affects them.

How did Concordia prepare you for your role at the clinic?

The knowledge of biological processes that I have gained at Concordia helped me to fully understand the treatments that we offered at the clinic. While that knowledge is invaluable, I think the biggest thing that prepared me for my role at the clinic was the critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills that Concordia has helped me strengthen. I’d consider myself a positive person with just a bit of Pacific Northwest pessimism, so the exposure to “Midwest nice” has definitely improved my customer service while communicating with patients.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m actually not the only Cobber employed by Pacific Northwest Fertility. My aunt is on staff as a nurse overseeing a portion of the donor egg program.

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Published November 2020