Alumni Spotlight: Kelsi Bean, 11′

This week’s UMM Alumni Spotlight shines on Kelsi Bean of Saco, a 2011 graduate of the UMM Behavioral Science and Community Studies program. Kelsi is a third year medical student at the University of New England at Biddeford.

Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:

After working as a paramedic in Maine for several years, I decided to pursue a medical career as a physician. I am beginning my third year of medical school this July, and I have two years left until I graduate as a doctor. I still work on an ambulance, enjoying it as more of a respite from my academic studies. I also work mentoring undergraduate students in Maine who are first time college attendees in their families.

What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?

UMM did a great job of supporting me academically while I explored a lot of different career avenues. The registrar’s office was always able to assist with transfer credits while I completed EMS and firefighting classes not offered on campus. It allowed me the versatility to explore potential interests while completing my degree.

The professors were very approachable. They really made us students feel like we were family. Even when classes were tough, you always knew your professors were right behind you and cheering you on. In addition to the psychology department that I worked closely with, the art department provided an amazing opportunity to explore creative avenues. I would recommend any student of any major take an art class or two.

Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?

Right now you are learning how to prioritize your education in your life. There are likely going to be tough classes, and maybe even tough times in life that try to discourage you. Never give up on school. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Just keep swimming, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?

UMM helped me to develop the ability to be an independent learner. I think that’s the whole point of college, to learn how to learn. Graduate school is a lot of independent learning. The habits I developed at UMM have helped to ease that transition. The firm academic background is evident as well.

How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?

I started at UMM as an 18 year old. The school helped to shape who I became. I appreciate that foundation, and the love of learning it instilled, as I go forward into a rigorous career path.