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Sundas Lateef '20
When thinking of medical school, the normal picture of a physician assisting a patient likely comes to mind, but the intellect behind that care and assistance has to do with medical research, which has sparked the interest of a first-year medical student at West Virginia University.
Sundus Lateef, a Bridgeport, W.Va. native, is a student at the WVU School of Medicine and as a result of receiving the Medical Tuition Waiver, Lateef is able to focus on one of her true passions—medical research.
“[My scholarship] allows me to explore extra opportunities in medicine without worrying about finances,” mentioned Lateef. “I want to conduct research projects and learn more about how lab findings translate to real benefits for people. This wouldn't be possible at this stage in my life without the generous scholarship support of so many donors.”
Lateef was also recognized as a WVU Foundation Scholar during her time as an undergraduate student, which allowed for her to focus on her bachelor’s degree while gaining a true sense of community and involvement with WVU.
Sparking her interest in research, her undergraduate career in Biology and Chemistry and time at WVU helped to shape her decision to attend medical school and also pursue other opportunities throughout her time as a student as well as member of the community.
“I think I always knew that WVU was the right environment for me,” said Lateef. “The students are so friendly and we help each other through classes; and the professors are untiring and nurturing. I really feel like a part of the university and that I can contribute meaningfully to our community through volunteering, tutoring and researching.”
Although medical school is time consuming, Lateef commits herself to tutoring other students in order to better prepare them and herself for future endeavors, an opportunity she mentioned would not be possible had she not be granted such a generous scholarship.
Without the burden and stress of student loans, Lateef is able to focus on other meaningful areas of her own growth and path forward while having the ability to assist other students.
“It's a huge relief to know that I can study and pursue any field of interest,” mentioned Lateef. “Medical school is challenging, but academic challenges always excite me. With my scholarship, I can blaze forward and think creatively about the topic at-hand. It's one less thing to worry about, and it frees my mind to consider the science at-hand or extra-curricular activities, like tutoring and research.”
Lateef, who plans on staying in West Virginia to practice medicine and conduct research, believes that scholarships not only affect students financially, but they also foster a “need to give back to our state and university in whatever way we are able.”
While she plans on contributing to the state of West Virginia as well as WVU following graduation, Lateef stresses the importance of philanthropy to donors who may be unsure of whether or not their gift will make an impact.
“Giving is a timeless act,” said Lateef. “It affects students not only in the short-term, but helps them grow to be more generous and philanthropic in their own careers. This, in-turn, affects the next generations of students. One of the best ways to invest in economic growth for West Virginia is to invest in education and its students. And we are so grateful and feel this impact every day.”