Student Spotlight: Mark Tom
Hometown: Wheaton/Glen Ellyn
Mark Tom knew he wanted to study medicine before attending college. And he knew College of DuPage was the right place to start.
"I wanted to develop the skills needed to succeed at a four-year university. These skills include balancing my schedule, managing stress and growing study habits," Tom said. "I also learned I could attend COD with tuition breaks through the Honors program, assuming I maintained a 3.5 GPA."
Tom did enter the Honors program and also managed to earn several scholarships: the Cancer Federation Scholarship, and the Ruth G. Nechoda Scholarship and the COD Textbook Award. The scholarships and the Honors tuition incentive helped Tom with his expenses.
But Tom got more from COD than he ever imagined.
"COD has gone far beyond in assisting me to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor," he said. "Where I lacked in motivation, professors inspired. When I had no money, scholarships and financial aid provided. Hands down, however, the best gift I have received from the College is the confidence to transform my dreams into a reality."
Tom continued his education at Seattle Pacific University as a Pre-Med Physiology major, from which he graduatedcum laude in 2012 with his bachelor's in Physiology. During the summer of 2011, he worked with Dr. David Hockenbery at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as an undergraduate intern. Their research involved the study of specific enzyme inhibitors that would target the enzymatic pathway of cancer metabolism, aerobic glycolysis, in hopes of seeking out a novel method of cancer therapy.
During summer 2012, Tom is traveling to Puerto Cortes, Honduras to do some work in the Pam Roach Medical Clinic through a ministry known as World Wide Heart to Heart. He is also running a soccer camp and soccer tournament for the Children's Village.
Upon his return, he plans to work in a community health program set up in King County, Washington, known as Global and Local Health Initiative through Americorps.
"I will be taking the next two years off to gain experience in the clinical world as well as in developing an understanding for the issues currently facing underprivileged communities and countries," he said. "Ultimately, my goal is to practice medicine and open up a clinic in the developing world."
Tom is grateful to College of DuPage for providing a springboard to his personal development as a student. In the future, he'd like to create a scholarship fund similar to the ones he received.
"Many thanks to the College and its faculty for their continued support and encouragement, which has led me to where I am today."
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
60137 (630) 942-2800
2012 College of DuPage