Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) promotes diversity and success for pre-health students

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By Kayelyn Robinson '20

The Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) is an on-campus organization at BGSU that, for the first time, is open to all health-related majors. Their focus is giving students mentoring relationships, volunteer experiences and networking opportunities through attending conferences, visiting health schools and holding workshops geared towards professional development. 

Their president, Scoyauna Fullen, a junior pre-med student, has been a part of MAPS since her freshman year at BGSU.

“This is the one organization I have been heavily involved with,” Fullen said. “It was worth sticking with for me, because of the resources it provides for us. I know a lot of pre-med and health majors in general don’t always have motivation, but being a part of this organization helps to keep me going through my ups and downs.”

Fullen’s involvement in MAPS includes other executive board positions prior to her presidency. These leadership opportunities, along with her overall involvement with the organization, have assisted her in gaining a better understanding of her career path and the steps she needs to take to be successful.  

 “Before MAPS, I didn’t realize how much went into being a pre-med major. I knew I needed a good GPA and to take the MCAT, but there’s so much more that goes into it,” she explained. “I learned there are so many small things that really count, like volunteering at a hospital.”

Crystal Martin, a sophomore Applied Health Science major, has taken advantage of the experiences MAPS has given its members focusing on professional growth. 

“One experience I have had in MAPS that has enhanced my collegiate experience is the attendance of National and Regional Medical Conferences,” she said. “These conferences allow me to have access to doctors and different connections with medical schools that may help when I apply. These are first hand experiences with the people who will be reviewing my application.”

MAPS provides members the tools they need to be successful and to meet their career goals. 

 “I’ve been given so many resources I wouldn’t have had on my own that gave me exposure to things early, even just a better understanding of the different health professions out there,” Fullen said. 

MAPS prepares their members to achieve their goals for post-graduation by emphasizing the importance of both academic and personal development in the present. 

“GPA is a major thing, but character building is important to us, too. MAPS has really helped me with both,” Fullen said. 

Members of MAPS are able to understand the needs of one another through being in similar fields of study, which means they are able to provide support for one another academically. 

“Most of the upper class students apart of MAPS have taken the courses I am in now and can give me different tips and help in my classes,” Martin explained. 

By using mentorship as a way to encourage members to push through the difficult times in their undergraduate experience, the organization has created an environment filled with encouragement. 

“MAPS has helped me grow into a better pre-medical student,” Fullen said. “My major is hard. My classes are hard. Having a mentor tell me that things might not go the way I planned, but I can still make it happen, really motivates me.”

Martin has also found benefit from the support that MAPS brings to its members.

“MAPS has benefited me as a student majoring in Applied Health Science, because the members of MAPS are really a support system and a family,” she said. “They push me further and give me motivation for my major and my life goals in general.”

Through their focus on things like workshopping, networking, volunteering and mentoring, MAPS’ goal is not only for its members to succeed throughout their time at BGSU and beyond, but to enjoy the process. 

“Every journey is different, but MAPS has made mine a little simpler. Having those extra resources can just really help you finish your journey strong,” Fullen said. “You can do it alone, but we’re here as a family to help everyone grow to be a better future health professional.”

For students in the College of Health and Human Services, Martin recommends they look into the organizations that feel would be a good fit for them. 

 “Some advice I would give those College of Health and Human Service students looking to get involved would be to explore different organizations, and to join the organizations that most align with your values and what you think you would enjoy most,” she said.