Alpena native Hope Bauer this fall will pursue a doctor of medicine degree from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.
Bauer’s latest academic endeavor will begin after she receives her bachelor’s degree in biology from Saginaw Valley State University in May. She joins some 1,000 other graduates earning degrees from the institution.
Bauer said her studies in medicine and her ambition to become a doctor were inspired in part by migraines she’s endured since she was a youth.
“I had to go to the ER a lot,” she said of the migraines that began when she was six. “I wanted to be able to help people the way the doctors were able to help me since I was little.”
As a child growing up in Alpena, Bauer played with toy stethoscopes and faux syringes while many of her friends collected Barbie dolls. With her latest decision, Bauer is one step closer to achieving that lifelong goal of practicing medicine. Specifically, she hopes to work as an orthopedic surgeon in a community resembling her hometown.
“I would love to be in northern Michigan,” she said.
The faculty and staff who have watched Bauer blossom as an undergraduate predict she will achieve her goals.
“She’s a superstar when it comes to medicine,” said Heidi Lang, SVSU’s pre-health professions advisor. “She’s the full package.”
Bauer has proven her value outside of the classroom setting too.
The President’s Scholarship recipient was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, worked as a tutor for biology and chemistry students, volunteered at Saginaw’s Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, and participated in an SVSU Alternative Breaks trip that sent students to mentor youths at a North Carolina YMCA.
Those experiences could have been very different had Bauer followed an initial path after graduating from Alpena High School in 2010. Originally, she was set to attend another university for her undergraduate studies, but two of her SVSU-bound friends and a campus visit convinced her to become a Cardinal instead.
“I am so happy (with the choice),” she said. “I gained a lot here. I really liked the close interaction and doing research with an advisor.”
It was an experience she admits isn’t easy to leave behind.
“I don’t know if it’s hit me quite yet,” Bauer said of the fact she’s soon to graduate from SVSU. “I’m just going into the unknown. That’s what I did when I came here, and that worked out.”