Scholarships essential to student athlete, biology major
It’s the term that Trent Snyder, a senior biology major with a pre-med emphasis from Sabetha, used to describe his scholarship support – both on and off the football field – at Washburn University.
Scholarships have been lifesaving, because Snyder carries such a heavy load. He is a K-INBRE scholar, which means he puts in multiple hours a week in at the science lab conducting research on amoebas in the water at Wolf Creek; he is president of the Biology Club; and he is a top-rate pre-med student who received early acceptance into the University of Kansas School of Medicine, a feat that not many students accomplish. He works part-time at Stormont-Vail HealthCare and has served as a volunteer in the St. Francis HealthCare Center emergency room and other community organizations.
“I chose to come to Washburn because of the reputation the program had in science, and because of their acceptance rates to medical school,” he said.
Snyder isn’t just focused on his studies though - he also happens to be the long snapper on Washburn’s football team, which just won its first NCAA playoff game this past fall.
Playing football wasn’t something Snyder thought he’d be doing when he came to Washburn as a freshman – he was determined to get good grades and go on to medical school. While working out at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center the spring of his freshman year though, he saw the football team practicing on the field and realized how much he missed playing the sport he loved in high school. He visited with the coaches his sophomore year and walked on to the team.
“It is not often that someone comes on to the team as a walk on and turns into a scholarship student, but with someone like him and his work ethic, he has the ability to do so,” said Craig Schurig, head football coach at Washburn University. “He was a leader in our program and was just as talented on the field as he was in the classroom.”
As the recipient of many scholarships – the Dean’s College of Arts and Sciences scholarship, the Garvey scholarship, as well as other academic and athletic scholarships – he is able to focus on his studies, research, and the community service that is required to get into medical school, instead of having to work long hours to pay for his undergraduate degree.
“Without scholarships, I wouldn’t have been able to play football and I would definitely be working many more hours as a patient care tech at the hospital,” said Snyder.
While Snyder will decide later in medical school if he would like to specialize, he said he’s interested in studying infectious diseases and rheumatology. Part of that interest has been sparked by his research mentor, John Mullican, associate professor and chair of the Biology Department at Washburn University.
“Trent is really a model student,” said Mullican. “Often when students are involved like that, they organize their time really well and are very successful.”
Snyder said that while at times it’s been difficult balancing all of his different activities and classes, now that he is nearing the end of his undergraduate career, he feels a great sense of accomplishment.
“Choosing to come here is something I’ll never regret,” he said. “Washburn has been wonderful to me.”
Story originally published in the Spring 2012 Alumni Magazine.