A wealth of opportunities made Akin Erol ’15 stand out to medical schools
Akin Erol thought like many high school students do that to have his best shot at medical school he needed to go to a major state university to get his degree. Growing up in Texas, he’d resigned himself to one of the many schools back home.
Then he visited Transylvania.
“I met professor Eva Csuhai, who showed me all the equipment our science program has to offer, and it blew my mind,” he says. “I thought, ‘Are you guys out of your minds?’ That’s a half-million dollars’ worth of equipment that we let 18-year-olds work with. Usually only graduate students get to use those.”
That’s when he realized he was going to gain valuable undergraduate experience with advanced devices like nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, infrared spectrometers and more—pieces he would have had to wait years to even touch somewhere else.
Still, he isn’t sure whether he was more surprised by that or by the fact that, on his second visit, he ran into Csuhai again, who this time greeted him by name.
“That really foreshadowed my experience,” he says. “Transylvania really is a supportive community. You always hear that on visits, but here you actually experience it.”
Akin took full advantage of a wide range of opportunities—running on the track team, serving as president of the Interfraternity Council, volunteering once a week with God’s Pantry and doing an internship with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, where his supervisor was chemist Melissa Carter, a 2005 Transylvania alumna.
Now, after graduating in just three years, Akin is heading to medical school at the University of Kentucky, where he will continue his childhood dream of becoming a physician. He points out that his array of experiences—as well as sterling recommendations from Csuhai and other professors—put him in the perfect position to succeed.
“These professors are very proactive about getting their students these opportunities,” he says. “I’m really just a shadow of their excellence in teaching and mentoring.”