ELIZABETH, NJ - The Shankweiler Scholars Program, the newest honors program at Muhlenberg College, is designed for excellent students who have indicated an interest in a future career as a physician and who also have other broad intellectual interests in the liberal arts, including subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

Leslie Avecillas, class of 2023, of Elizabeth (07208) is a member of the new honors program.

Building on Muhlenberg's sterling reputation as a destination for pre-med students, the Shankweiler Scholars program recognizes that medical schools are increasingly looking for students who not only have a passion for medicine and excel in subjects like math, chemistry, and biology, but who are also knowledgeable about a wide range of human expression, diversity and experience.

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Students accepted into the Shankweiler Scholars Program will receive a merit award and participate in a curriculum that supports exploration of the human dimensions of the practice of medicine in addition to the standard preparation for medical school. High-performing students in the Shankweiler Scholars Program will be positioned to compete for admission to leading U.S. medical schools, including Boston University School of Medicine and Temple University School of Medicine, with which Muhlenberg has Academic Partnerships.

The Scholars take three interdisciplinary 0.5 credit seminars during their time at Muhlenberg, one in each of their first, sophomore and senior years, which focus on the cultural and social aspects of medicine. Students also work with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized course of study through the liberal arts curriculum that combines their interests in medicine and prehealth with their other passions for subjects like music, anthropology, religion, philosophy, sociology, history, or the arts. In addition, the students work together to identify, invite, and host a speaker to come to campus each spring and talk about the human aspects of health and medicine.

"It is our hope that the Shankweiler Scholars program will prepare our students not only for a successful future career in medicine, but also for a lifetime of learning about medicine as a human endeavor," says Casey James Miller, chair of the Prehealth Faculty Advisory Committee and assistant professor of anthropology.