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Volume 98, Number 1

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Doing science: The School of Health and Natural Sciences
by Rebecca Jekel

Joshua Evans '06 In high school, Joshua Evans disliked biology. Now, as a college senior, he’s destined for medical school and determined to make a difference in his patients’ lives. Find out how the School of Health and Natural Sciences is transforming the educational experience of Joshua and so many other students like him.


When Joshua Evans began his first year at Messiah College as a piano performance major, he had no idea that four years later he would apply to medical schools and receive six acceptance letters.

Having taken piano lessons since the age of four, “being a pianist was built into my identity,” he says. “People around me assumed the same thing I did—that I would go on to study music.”

But during his sophomore year at Messiah, Evans began to feel he was going down a path that no longer fully satisfied him. “The more I worked toward the goal, the more I felt it wasn’t where I was most comfortable and most happy,” he says. “I felt unsure about the meaning of what I was doing.”

So, during the summer between his sophomore and junior year, Evans read books that addressed how to choose a career. “I made lists of my interests, aspirations, and personal attributes,” he recalls, “and medicine kept coming up.”

This result surprised Evans, who kept pushing the idea aside, recalling that high school biology was his least favorite subject. But eventually Evans decided to research the possibility. And, after shadowing an orthopedic surgeon and discussing his options with Messiah’s music and science faculty, Evans began to add pre-medical courses to his junior-year piano-performance schedule.

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