Student Spotlight: Senior Lands Service Opportunity


Aaron Hawke

Chemistry major Aaron Hawke at work in a BW lab.

Areej Amer, Contributing Writer

Senior chemistry major, Aaron Hawke, plans to travel with the Up With People organization beginning in July prior to attending medical school in the Fall of 2016.
Up With People has been around since the sixties with its mission being “to bridge cultural barriers and create global understanding through service and music.” The organization’s goal is to develop global citizens, provide personal growth and leadership development opportunities, instill an appreciation of the value of volunteerism and expose participants to a wide range of experiences and cultures
“I was really inspired by what the organization had to offer in terms of the amazing opportunities it could provide for me before I settled down and began to achieve my goal of attending medical school,” Hawke said.
Rooted  in the performing arts and service learning, Up With People has performed for big events in the past including several Super Bowl Half-time shows. Hawke was fortunate to have been accepted after interviewing with the organization in 2013.
As a new member of Up With People, Hawke will travel to Denver, Colorado for initial staging and stay there for several weeks with a host family, learning the musical numbers and dances for a show.  After the initial staging, the cast will travel across the USA, Mexico, and Europe, staying with a different host family each week for six months.  The Up With People cast does not only perform in various cities, they also engage in many community service opportunities in the locations they perform.
Hawke mentions that BW has impacted him in countless ways, with the the close-knit community having one of the greatest impacts on his success.
“The campus is small in feel, but mammoth in the opportunities it has for its students.  I would not be going where I am upon graduation without the guidance and support of the amazing faculty and students at BW. Connections matter and BW has those connections” said Hawke
Hawke credits his success to several professors at BW including Dr. Ray Shively in the Chemistry department, Dr. Colleen Nye in the Biology department, Voice Professor, Tracy Grady and Honors Program Director, Dr. Amy Story.
“Classmates can also be some of the best mentors…Janace Gifford truly has been for me,” Hawke said of a fellow senior and neuroscience and psychology double major.
Hawke urges BW students to believe in their abilities and to take opportunities they have been given despite how “scary” or “uncertain” the outcomes may be.
“The best    opportunities I’ve had, and the biggest accomplishments I’ve made at BW have come from hard work, the connections I’ve made with the amazing people here, the ability to leap into opportunities I’m unsure of, and  faith that I’m on my current path for a reason.” Hawke added, “It’s also super important that you don’t forget to have fun while you’re on your way to great things…work hard and play hard.”
Hawke hopes to positively impact the communities he travels to as a leader and global citizen. Upon completion of the program, he aspires to become a well-rounded and talented physician.