Shauni Cowan '16

A closeup of a blonde woman with wavy hair smiling
Shauni Cowan, Class of 2016

Hometown: Scarborough, ME
Major: Biology

Extracurriculars: Environmental Field Study Maymester in Namibia, Summer Service Fellow, Rhodes Student Assistant Program (for Summer Service Fellowship program and Bryan Campus Life Center), Rhodes College Diplomat, Order of the Lynx, Varsity Field Hockey 2012- Spring 2015, Varsity Lacrosse Spring 2014

When Shauni Cowan ’16 came to Rhodes she planned on getting involved, but she had no idea how many opportunities the college would provide that she just couldn’t pass up. In fact, she might be one of Rhodes’ busiest students.

When looking at schools, Rhodes stood alone on her list of 21 colleges as the only one not located in the Northeast. When she visited, Shauni says, she found that “the school had great academics and genuine people”—but what truly sealed the deal was her overnight stay with the Women’s Field Hockey team.  Shauni played on the team for three years and on the Women’s Lacrosse team for a year, and continues to work in the Bryan Campus Life Center as the facilities coordinator.

Unsure what she wanted to study upon arriving at Rhodes, Shauni explored volunteer and service opportunities to help her decide. Having a suspicion she would end up in the medical field, she began working with the Health Professions Advising office, and, with their assistance, volunteered in a hospital emergency room. But, while she enjoyed her work at the hospital, she didn’t find the emergency room setting compatible with her future career goals. Says Shauni, “It’s very chaotic, and you don’t have repeat patients. I wanted to see how my patients progressed, and work more on the side of preventive care.”

Shauni then volunteered at a dental clinic through the Summer Service Fellowship program. That’s how, she says, “I discovered my passion for dentistry, and decided to major in biology.” She adds that Rhodes is an ideal undergraduate school for biology majors with a future in the field of medicine. “I think the liberal arts are key—when you treat many different kinds of people, you need to have knowledge of so many things.”

Shauni looks back on her Summer Service Fellowship experience as “the best summer ever,” because she got to see a side of Memphis that students don’t normally see. This summer, after returning from a Maymester in Namibia doing environmental field study, she continued her involvement with the Summer Service Fellowship program as the student coordinator.

When she graduates in the spring of 2016, Shauni hopes to be remembered at Rhodes for the passion and enthusiasm that she puts into everything she does. And she recommends that others become involved, both on campus and off, in order to find their own passions. “Rhodes offers lots of opportunities for pursuing all kinds of interests,” she adds, “and encourages students to be involved by being flexible.”

By Margaret Tronsor ′17