The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Up for a challenge

Neuroscience major Austin Hilvert isn’t choosing which of his interests he’ll pursue. He plans to do them all.

Austin Hilvert already knows he wants to be a doctor. And if his first year of college is any indication, he’s on the right path.

In just two semesters as a Buckeye, the 19-year-old from Bartlett, Illinois, declared neuroscience as his major, began volunteering at Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and a campus research lab, helped start a health care club, became editor of the university’s undergraduate research journal and joined a neuroscience honorary. And in his spare time, he took part in student government.

“That’s typical me,” he says. “I want to get involved in everything I possibly can.”

That ambition — and the accomplishments Hilvert has to match — made him a great scholarship candidate for Ohio State’s Chicago Alumni Club. The club granted him one of its three scholarships for incoming freshmen last year. It is increasing that number to four this year, says President Julianna Paterra ’12, “given the competitive and outstanding applicant pool we have.”

“I was impressed by the strength of his high school transcript,” adds recruitment committee co-chair Katie Lowe ’07. “He took an incredible amount of advanced placement and honors courses. What impressed me more was how well-rounded of a student he was.” (He also was senior class president, an athlete and a community volunteer and held down a part-time job.)

So it’s no surprise that Hilvert is sizing up careers with an eye toward variety.

“I really like the research side of medicine, but I also really want to be a doctor,” he says. “So there’s this MD/PhD program where you can get both degrees, but it’s condensed. I just want to find something where I can help people, where I feel intellectually challenged every day and where I can get the people side of medicine while being able to do research.”

Hilvert is grateful for the support he’s received from the Chicago Alumni Club as well as from the university, which awarded him one of about 300 Morrill scholarships that went to freshmen last year.

“I like feeling like I’m a part of something here,” Hilvert says. “The school spirit is incredible. I’m so proud to be a Buckeye.”

More than 111 geographically based Ohio State alumni clubs and contacts offer opportunities for service and friendship all over the world. More than 45 Ohio State alumni societies allow members to serve the university based on their individual interests and experiences.

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You can also support students like Austin Hilvert by making scholarships a reality.

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