Hometown: Greenville, SC
Major: Urban and Community Health
Extracurriculars: Bonner Service Scholar, Kinney Healthcare and Wellness Coordinator, Peer Assistant, LGBTQ+ Working Group, First Generation Program, Culture of Consent, Urban Studies Student Advisory Council, Sexual Misconduct Steering Committee
After 15 months of test tubes, Tyler Harvey ’17 is putting away his beakers and gloves and stepping out of the lab. This fall marks his completion of the St. Jude Summer Plus program, a 15-month, hands-on research experience that begins in the summer and continues through the school year and the following summer. The program allows students to conduct research in various departments, such as oncology or biochemistry; Tyler focused on pharmaceutical sciences.
“Overall the experience was great, my lab and mentors were excellent, so I learned a lot from them, not just how to do research, but also professional and personal development,” says Tyler. His day-to-day work consisted of using measurements to determine genomic factors that eventually lead to complex responses to drug treatment. Tyler researched how patients who receive the same drug react differently according to their genomes. “We were looking at how to better personalize medicine so patients have better outcomes,” he explains.
In addition to his research at St. Jude, Tyler has volunteered at the Church Health Center for the last three semesters and is an intern there this semester. He is helping to analyze ways to improve how the Church Health Center delivers services to its population. His experiences at both St. Jude and the Church Health Center have helped Tyler understand more clearly what he wants to pursue in the future. Says Tyler, “I realize I’m passionate about people-oriented public health and medicine.”
Tyler’s earlier experience doing cancer research in high school helped him know what type of college he wanted to attend. “Liberal arts fits who I am and what I’m looking for,” he explains. Rhodes’ urban environment and high involvement in community service made it the perfect place. “One thing I really like about Rhodes is how involved I’ve been able to get within the community,” he adds. And, as a coordinator in the Kinney Program's Health and Wellness Division, he is able to help other students get involved in the community with volunteer opportunities and service trips.
Rhodes has also shown him the many possibilities available in the medical field. “What I want to do after college doesn’t have to be limited. The urban and community health major has opened my eyes to everything that goes into health for the community, including all the social and cultural factors. It’s so much broader than I initially thought.”
By Swaneet Mand '17