A Q&A with Pre-Medical and History Major Jack West
Junior Pre-Med and History Major
Social Media Ambassador for the U of A’s Pat Walker Health Center
In this conversation, West talks about his passion for helping people learn about and maintain their health, combining his love of history with his plans for a future medical career, starting a new Instagram account for the U of A’s Pat Walker Health Center and running it during the COVID-19 response, and being brave enough to ask for and make things happen – even if they don’t yet exist.
I’m very interested in educating the public, particularly those with limited access, on ways to improve or maintain their health. I started creating and posting content for the Pat Walker Instagram to combine my creative designs with this desire.
There is an enormous amount of misinformation out there and much of it is spread via social media. I wanted to take this same platform and use it to educate people – using facts, not opinions – in a community close to me: The University of Arkansas.
Last summer I also had the opportunity to be invited to Yale University to conduct skin cancer research in a computational biology lab. Research surrounding a cure for cancer has existed for decades but to be a small part of it was very rewarding.
I will be completing my first year as a Fulbright College student in May. Previously, I was in the College of Engineering as a Biomedical Engineering student for two years.
I have most enjoyed the flexibility with my class schedule and the range of classes offered for my degree, interests, and goals.
Q: What has your favorite class been so far and why?
LGBTQ+ Histories from Dr. Pepitone was the class I always looked forward to every week.
Every lecture and class period were new and interactive and creative, and I thought the entire semester was incredibly well planned and designed.
If you’re interested in doing something, go ask for it or go find it. Make it happen even if it doesn’t exist yet.
My social media position at Pat Walker did not exist before I decided to make it a reality. If you think something is worth doing, do it yourself.
Q: What do you like to do during your time outside of the university?
I enjoy exercising, travelling during breaks, napping in a hammock, and studying at a nice coffee shop.
I am graduating in the fall of 2021 and will pursue a master’s in public health before an M.D. or a dual-degree program.
I want to work with underrepresented communities either here or abroad and increase access to basic health care.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add or let readers know?
Wear sunscreen every day, get your vaccines, wash your hands, and follow the Pat Walker Instagram @uofahealth!
A version of this Q&A originally ran in our sister publication, The Student Affairs Bulletin, be sure to check it out!